Diane Sawyer Interviews Annabel Davis-Goff

ByABC News via logo
June 11, 2002, 8:31 AM

June 11 -- The one woman who once made Diane Sawyer's knees knock together reveals a story of spirit and courage one fictional, and one very real.

Annabel Davis-Goff, the author of This Cold Country, is also the ex-wife of Mike Nichols Diane Sawyer's husband of 14 years. As Sawyer interviewed Davis-Goff about her latest novel, they both looked back at their own story of love, family and fear.

The following is an unedited, uncorrected transcript of the interview as it aired on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America.

ANNABEL DAVIS-GOFF: The Anglo Irish were kind of left behind people who had large very beautiful houses and no money. It was sort of a gradual slide towards the edge. There was no future. And I tell you something else that was strange about it it defeated the men and it made the women stronger. And that's a theme that's throughout all the fiction that I try to write.

DIANE SAWYER: The big houses, were they fun to grow up in or

DAVIS-GOFF: They were cold.


DAVIS-GOFF: They were cold.

DIANE SAWYER: (Voice Over Tape) This Cold Country is the story of Daisy a practical, spirited British girl who became what was known as a "land- girl" during World War II. They were young women, sent to help out on Anglo-Irish farms so that the men could go to war. Brave young girls like the author's mother who was a land girl too.

DAVIS-GOFF: She was extraordinarily beautiful. Although not vain. She had a very, very good mind. She's not, She's not daisy. But that kind of spirit and courage is real. That's my Mother.

SAWYER (Voice Over Tape): When the young girl in the novel marries into one of those big houses she discovers it is filled with secrets and something threatening her like a suffocating vine.

DAVIS-GOFF (Reading her book, This Cold Country): Ready to subsume her, freeze her, bind her, deaden her and render her passive. No, she said aloud. I'm too young, too healthy, too English, too much in love. The first two at least sounded convincing.