New York, Feb. 7 (Reuters): Random House has made author Mark Winegardner an offer he can’t refuse.
The publisher said today it picked the Florida-based writer to pen the sequel to The Godfather, Mario Puzo’s 1969 tale of mafia ties and betrayal that sold 20 million copies and inspired a trilogy of films about the Corleone family.
Winegardner, author of the novels The Veracruz Blues and Crooked River Burning, directs the creative writing programme at Florida State University. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.
Winegardner, who is of German-Irish ancestry, predicted his lack of Italian blood would not pose a problem in writing the book, which he hopes to have ready by the end of next year.
“Puzo himself said there’s nothing in The Godfather about the mafia that he didn’t learn in the library,” Winegardner told NBC’s Today show, where the announcement was made.
The naming of Winegardner caps a selection process launched in November by Random House editor Jon Karp, who worked with Puzo during the last 10 years of the author’s career. Puzo died in 1999.