Decades later, that memory tempered her own approach as she researched “Under the Bridge.” “I didn’t want to be that intrusive or voyeuristic,” she said, “so I was quite tentative by journalistic standards.”
Ms. Godfrey earned an undergraduate degree in English at the University of Toronto and an M.F.A. in creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College. Until recently, she taught creative writing at Columbia University.
She is survived by her husband, Herbert Wilson; their daughter, Ada; her mother; and her brother Samuel.
At her death, Ms. Godfrey had nearly completed a new novel, “Peggy,” based on the early life of Peggy Guggenheim, the modern-art patron, including an affair she had with Samuel Beckett in Paris in the late 1930s. After spending so many years immersed in a violent crime, she told The Poughkeepsie Journal in 2019, “I wanted to write a love story.”
She left copious notes about how she wanted to finish the manuscript, her editor, David Ebershoff, said. It is scheduled to be published by Random House next summer.
“Under the Bridge” was optioned by Reese Witherspoon’s production company, but that project appears to have fizzled. Next month, Hulu will begin production on a limited series based on the book. The writer and director Quinn Shephard collaborated with Ms. Godfrey for two and a half years to adapt the story for television; both are credited as executive producers.
The book was written largely from the points of view of each of the people involved with the case, with Ms. Godfrey mostly absent from the narrative, an affecting technique that was also cultural. Unlike Americans, Ms. Godfrey said, Canadians are taught to see the community before the individual; Ms. Godfrey considered the first person showy. But when Ms. Shephard reworked “Under the Bridge” to make Ms. Godfrey the show’s heroine, she didn’t balk.
“Rebecca allowed me to embrace the rebellious, sensitive and mischievous spirit she had at the age when she wrote this,” Ms. Shephard said. “I wonder if at the time, when she was in it, it was hard to see how special the story of her writing this truly was. She would often say that looking back, she wondered how she was able to do it, withstand all of that darkness for so many years.”
Source: NY Times