My Works

French Dirt: The Story of a Garden in the South of France
Escaping the sound and fury of New York, Richard moved to a small village in Provence, near Avignon. There he found a tiny plot of streamside land and set about raising a vegetable garden that eventually connected him to his village and to the villagers in ways he never would have dreamed.

For thirty-five years, New York City was home for Richard Goodman. A New York Memoir reflects those years--the lessons learned, the friendships made, the love found and lost, the words written. Throughout it all, there is a deep, abiding gratitude to this incomparable city coursing through this book.

The Soul of Creative Writing
Richard Goodman has collected rich examples from writers of the past and present and uses them to illustrate how supple and generous our written language is. The Soul of Creative Writing is a book for anyone who loves language and literature.

Published in a limited edition with original wood engravings by Gaylord Schanilec.


"The Man Who Gave Me Japan" from the January 2010 issue of Michigan Today

This is a rememberance of the great Japanese scholar and translator Edward G. Seidensticker.

"An Evening With William Burroughs"
Thirty-five years ago, Richard spent an evening with William Burroughs in his London flat. Burroughs talked about Naked Lunch, Terry Southern, Jean Genet and Norman Mailer, as a host of friends came and went.

Selected Works


"I possess a deep prejudice against anything written by Anglo-Saxons about their lives in or near French villages. So, Richard, I thank you for breaking the spell. I like very much what you wrote."
–M.F.K. Fisher

"French Dirt is one of the most charming, perceptive and subtle books ever written about the French by an American."
San Francisco Chronicle

"Goodman borrows a plot of land on which to grow a garden, a project that his neighbors view first with curiosity, then with sympathy and a deepening sense of involvement. There's a genuine sweetness about the way the cucumbers and tomatoes bridge the divide of nationality."
-Francine Prose, New York Times

"Richard Goodman’s marvelous book, The Soul of Creative Writing, will instruct, delight, edify, challenge, reassure, and guide any student of writing to a personal best."
–Molly Peacock, author of Cornucopia: New & Selected Poems

"Richard Goodman is one of the most generous and astute literary guides I've read. This book is a gift to writers."
–Rebecca Walker, author of Black, White and Jewish

"This book is not just for writers then, but for lovers of words and writing. For renewing my excitement about what I've chosen to do for a living, this book deserves thirteen exclamation marks".
–Stephanie Dickison, The Writer