“A looong winding female friendship taking us through the (can it be 6?) decades since [the 1950s],” famed author Margaret Atwood tweeted of Old Lovegood Girls, the latest novel by Gail Godwin. “As always, wry, beady-eyed, acute.” Godwin, a three-time National Book Award finalist, grew up in Asheville and Weaverville — including attending the all-girls Catholic school St. Genevieve-of-the-Pines, where she started keeping a diary. Asheville’s landmarks have made their way into many of Godwin’s books. Old Lovegood Girls, the author’s 17th novel, is about writers Feron Hood and Merry Jellicoe, who are “paired as roommates in 1958 at Lovegood Junior College for Girls,” according to a press release. Godwin’s return to subjects of female friendship, intellectual development and the passing of time are likely to be welcome distractions during this time of social distancing and homebound activities. Consider preordering it from your favorite local bookstore: It goes on sale May 5. Author photo by Jolanta Drozd-Kaminski
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