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Wonderlandby Stacey D'Erasmo
Synopses & Reviews
Anna Brundage is a rock star. She is tall and sexy, with a powerhouse voice and an unforgettable mane of red hair. She came out of nowhere, an immediate indie sensation. And then, life happened.
Anna went down as fast as she went up, and then walked off the scene for seven years. Without a record deal or clamoring fans, she sells a piece of her famous fathers art to finance just one more album and a European comeback tour.
Anna is forty-four. This may be her last chance to cement her place in the life she chose, the life she struggled for, the life shes not sure she can sustain. She falls back easily into the ways of the road — sex with strangers, the search for the perfect moment onstage. To see Anna perform is something — watch her find the note, the electric connection with the audience, the transcendence when it all comes together and the music seems to fill the world.
A riveting look at the life of a musician, Wonderland is a moving inquiry into the life of a woman on an unconventional path, wondering what happens next and what her passions might have cost her, seeking a version of herself she might recognize. It takes us deep into a world many of us have spent hours imagining and wishing ourselves into — now we have a bit of that wish come true.
"On her comeback tour, a decade separated from her heyday, musician Anna Brundage zigzags across Europe with a new album, Wonderland; a new manager; and a new band, in the commanding latest from D'Erasmo (The Sky Below). Along the way, she tackles her roller-coaster past — her relationship with her artist father; her affair with Simon, a married father of two; an abortion — and seeks atonement. Spoken in Anna's voice and structured with a fragmented chronology, the novel intersperses moments from multiple tours and recording sessions with personal letters and meditations, creating a spellbinding look into the protagonist's being. Characters like the glammed-out Billy Q and the drug-addled Ezra weave in and out of Anna's tour like ghosts, as Anna and her bandmates — Zach, Alicia, and Tom — live life on the road, where romance is fleeting, where friends come and go, and where a savior can be found in the darkest of moments. A story of second chances, D'Erasmo has meticulously crafted a work that, with the exception of a small lull midnovel, constantly builds, yet often feels incredibly casual. Days and shows pass, but within this routine, a transformation slowly creeps into the narrative: that of commitment, and, perhaps, hope for the future. Agent: Bill Clegg, WME Entertainment. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Wonderland is a witty and unflinching novel about life, love, art and sound checks. A deep howl and a bittersweet song, this is D'Erasmo's best yet." Sam Lipsyte
"[D'Erasmo writes] artfully and insightfully, giving Brundage a no-nonsense, road-worn tone that leaves equal room for pathos and humor... D'Erasmo is particularly good at capturing the randomness and joy of the creative process...thoughtfully addresses aging, art and relationships." Kirkus
This breakout novel from a brilliant stylist — dropping us into the life a female rock star — centers on that moment when we decide whether to go all-in or give up our dreams.
From a rising literary star in the tradition of Carol Shields and A. S. Byatt” comes this luminous story of a contemporary mans metamorphosis.
Andrea Barrett and Michael Cunningham have lauded Stacey DErasmo for the beauty of her language and her ability to create worlds that leave a lasting impression. In her new novel, DErasmo reaches back to Ovid for inspiration in this tale of how the mythic animates our everyday lives. At thirty-seven, Gabriel Collins works halfheartedly as an obituary writer at a fading newspaper in lower Manhattan, which, since 9/11, feels like a city of the dead. This once dreamy and appealing boy has turned from a rebellious adolescent to an adult who trades in petty crimes.His wealthy, older boyfriend is indulgent of him—to a point. But after a brush with his own mortality, Gabriel must flee to Mexico in order to put himself back together. By novels end, we know all of Gabriels ratty little secrets, but by dint of DErasmos spectacular writing, we exult in the story of an imperfect man who—tested by a world that is often too much for him—rises to meet the challenge.
About the Author
Stacey D'Erasmo is a recipient of Guggenheim and Stegner Fellowships, the author of three previous novels and a book of nonfiction, The Art of Intimacy. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times (Magazine and Book Review), Bookforum, and Ploughshares, among others. She teaches in Columbia University's MFA program.
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