This Goodly Land

Winston Groom (March 23, 1943–present)

Other Names Used

Alabama Connections

Selected Works

Literary Awards

Biographical Information

Winston Groom was born in Washington, D.C. but was raised in Mobile, Ala. Although he began writing as a child, he had always expected to become a lawyer like his father. At the University of Alabama, however, he edited and wrote for the university humor and literary magazines and graduated with an AB degree in English in 1965. After graduation he served in the U.S. Army for two years, which included a thirteen-month tour of duty in Vietnam. He returned from Vietnam intending to write a book about his experience.

In 1967, Groom began working as a reporter for The Washington Star and made contacts in the literary world. He resigned in 1976 and moved to New York to write his Vietnam novel, Better Times Than These, which was published in 1978. Some of his subsequent novels have featured Alabama settings, including his most famous book, Forrest Gump, which was made into a movie. Much of Groom’s nonfiction has had a military theme, including his second Vietnam-related book, the Pulitzer-nominated Conversations with the Enemy.

Interests and Themes

Winston Groom writes novels and nonfiction books, frequently with a Southern or military theme.

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Reference Book Chapters and Encyclopedia Entries

Reference Web Sites

Photo courtesy of the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts, Auburn University.

Last updated on May 30, 2008.

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