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Mark Winegardner, Writing in the Shadow of Puzo

Nov 20, 2004 (Weekend Edition Saturday)

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Before Mario Puzo died in 1999, he signed off on the idea that someone would be hired to continue the saga of The Godfather.

In the fall of 2002, Mario Puzo's publisher, Random House, opened a contest to choose Puzo's successor. The winner was Mark Winegardner, a creative writing professor from Florida.

Winegardner tells NPR's Scott Simon about the process of writing The Godfather Returns, and why it's irrelevant that he's not Italian.

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