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The Banana Rose

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They met on the mesa and fell in love with a passion that seemed to stop time - Brooklyn-born Nell, who migrated to the Taos of communes and sweet cedar smoke and transformed herself into Banana Rose, and Gauguin, a redheaded horn player from the heartland traveling south in pursuit of a dream. Banana believes everything will last forever: the vast southwestern sky; their friendship with Neon, the king of the hippies, and Blue, the mystic debutante; and above all the presence of Anna, a strange-eyed writer as ...
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1995-02-01 Hardcover First Edition New in Like New jacket Mint condition hardcover in also brand new condition dustjacket. First edition, first printing. MendoPower Employment ... Services will immediately and carefully pack this book in high-quality bubble lined, envelopes. Then we send you a confirmation e-mail. We appreciate your business and welcome any questions. Read more Show Less

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Overview

They met on the mesa and fell in love with a passion that seemed to stop time - Brooklyn-born Nell, who migrated to the Taos of communes and sweet cedar smoke and transformed herself into Banana Rose, and Gauguin, a redheaded horn player from the heartland traveling south in pursuit of a dream. Banana believes everything will last forever: the vast southwestern sky; their friendship with Neon, the king of the hippies, and Blue, the mystic debutante; and above all the presence of Anna, a strange-eyed writer as lonely as the Nebraska farm where she grew up, who teaches Nell what it means to be a painter. But Gauguin wants to move on and Banana makes a wrenching choice to follow him north. In the cold and gray of Minnesota, Gauguin and Banana become George Howard and Nell Schwartz; living together leads to marriage, in-laws, and steady jobs; and the slow, easy, naked love of the desert gives way to jealousy, divorce, and death. As the past falls to ashes, Nell slowly realizes she must find her way home alone. Subtly hilarious and achingly raw, this is the story of Nell's long, strange trip from her beloved New Mexico to the alien Midwest and back again. As she struggles with the demands of canvas and paint, with her family and faith, and with her own wild heart, she discovers the one secret power that sustains her through it all.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
That the art of writing has many facets, some slippery, is demonstrated by this first novel from writing guru Goldberg (Writing Down the Bones), which turns out to be a rambling, rather indulgent memoir of marriage and friendship in an age of post-hippie adjustment. ``I thought the hippie years would last forever,'' reflects Nell Schwartz from Brooklyn, aka ``Banana Rose,'' who's living in a Taos commune, painting the awesome New Mexico landscape, when a sexy red-haired musician known as ``Gauguin'' blows into Taos with his brass saxophone. Soon ardent lovers, Nell and Gauguin depart for life in cities (including New York and its Jewish deli delights). But passion cools with marriage, ridiculous in-laws and the prospect of daily reality in ``Minneapolis, for good.'' Gauguin turns unconvincingly bossy and square, annoyed by Nell's caf art show, her carefree ``women's libber'' ways and her Jewishness, which she fiercely protects amid the alien Midwestern corn. For solace, Nell turns to Anna Gates, whose mountaintop funeral opens and closes the novel as a frame and comment on the Gauguin/Nell relationship. In life, Anna was willowy and fair, a writer of guileless little sketches and ``a six-foot-one-inch lesbian'' whom Nell had tenderly loved but slept with only once. Finally, Nell's painful losses spur her to redemptive literary activity. Sentence by sentence, Goldberg's writing is, not surprisingly, sensitive and quick, but her plot meanders like a sleepy bee, settling down now and then for a scene as sweet as nectar but too often simply buzzing around in the air. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Mar.)
Library Journal
In this tedious coming-of-age story, 29-year-old Nell, transplanted from New York to a Taos commune, takes the name Banana Rose, fancies herself a painter, and falls for an itinerant musician named Gauguin. She leaves her beloved Southwest to marry him in Minnesota. Things predictably fall apart, and Nell returns full circle to Taos. The central character's self-absorption does not make for a correspondingly absorbing narrative. Even with the pivotal Nell, no apparent focus forms from day-to-day occurrences that are itemized in monotonous detail. Too much of the novel reads like a dull adolescent's diary. If the characters were as interesting as their names, the reader might care what happens to them. Although this is Goldberg's first novel, she has-amazingly, given the quality of Banana Rose-written two nonfiction guides to writing (e.g., Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life, LJ 10/1/90). Not recommended.-Sheila Riley, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, D.C.
From the Publisher
"Banana Rose is one book you won't put down 'til the end."—Rocky Mountain News

"Banana Rose explodes with wit and vision."—Indianapolis News

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553095272
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/1/1995
  • Pages: 384

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