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Powell's Q&A

Stephen Goodwin

Describe your latest project.
Dream Golf is the story of Bandon Dunes, a place that has already become a legend in American golf. With three courses overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Bandon Dunes resort is probably the greatest pure golf destination in the world — and it opened only seven years ago, in 1999. To explain how this marvelous place came into being, I kept the focus of the story on the men who built it — on the owner, Mike Keiser, and the two talented young golf architects, David Kidd and Tom Doak, who designed the first two courses. Another major figure is Howard McKee, the land planner who approached the project as "soul work." That phrase describes the attitude of all of the major players at Bandon Dunes, and it goes a long way toward explaining the character of Bandon. They all saw Bandon as a place to fulfill their dreams, and they put their heart and soul into the work. The result is a place like no other, where the golf really does seem to capture the ancient magic of the game.

  1. Dream Golf: The Making of Bandon Dunes
    $11.50 Used Hardcover add to wishlist

  2. Breaking Her Fall
    $13.50 New Trade Paper add to wishlist

    Breaking Her Fall

    Stephen Goodwin

  3. The Blood of Paradise (Virginia Bookshelf)
    $44.50 New Trade Paper add to wishlist

If you could choose any story to live in, what story would that be? Why?
Tom Jones. Is any book more joyous? More infused with a love of life?

Introduce one other author you think people should read, and suggest a good book with which to start.
A writer you should know: Mary Kay Zuravleff. She has written only two novels, The Bowl Is Already Broken and The Frequency of Souls, but they are both brilliant. I think she is the wittiest novelist now at work.

Offer a favorite sentence or passage from another writer.

Away to the Great Plains of America, to that immense Western short-grass prairie now mostly plowed under! Away to the still-empty land beyond newsstands and malls and velvet restaurant ropes! Away to the headwaters of the Missouri, now quelled by many impoundment dams, and to the headwaters of the Platte, and to the almost invisible headwaters of the slurped-up Arkansas! Away to the land where TV used to set its most popular drams, but not anymore!
Ian Frazier

Those lines are the beginning of his amazing book, The Great Plains.

How did the last good book you read end up in your hands and why did you read it?
The book is Swoosh, by Julie Strasser and Laurie Becklund. I met Julie at a reception — she was the host. I had no idea she was a writer. By way of expressing thanks, I gave her a book of mine, and she responded by giving me a copy of Swoosh. It's the story of Nike, a business book filled with fascinating and outrageous characters, a great read.

Describe the best breakfast of your life.
Heidelberg, Germany, 1967. The meal consisted of brown bread, coffee, and various kinds of wurst and cheese. A typical German breakfast, in other words. But it was my first morning in any country besides the U. S., and that meal contained the full, pungent essence of foreignness. Absolutely delicious.

Why do you write?
You mean I had a choice?

What do you dislike most?
Intolerance and religious zealotry. The thought police.

Aside from other writers, name some artists from whom you draw inspiration and talk a little about their work.
Marc Cohn, singer songwriter extraordinarie. The late Eva Cassidy, possessor of the most haunting voice I've even heard. Chagall, whose vision conveys beauty and magic. Tiger Woods, whose athletic prowess is a form of high virtuosity. spacer

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