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Book review: 'Wonderland' by Stacey D'Erasmo

Novel focuses on a 44-year-old former rock star who’s trying to make a comeback.
Oklahoman Modified: June 21, 2014 at 1:06 am •  Published: June 22, 2014
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“Wonderland” by Stacey D’Erasmo (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 242 pages, in stores)

In “Wonderland,” Stacey D’Erasmo takes readers into the life of Anna Brundage, an indie rock star who, at the age of 44, is attempting a comeback.

A decade after her popularity waned, Anna is on tour across Europe with her new album, “Wonderland.” She left the music scene seven years before. Now with no record deal and no fans, she sold a piece of her father’s art to finance the album and tour.

Along the way she muses on her past — her relationship with her father, her affair with Simon, who is married with two children, and her decision to abort his baby. She also remembers events from numerous tours and recording sessions.

She is all one would expect of a rock star, with drugs and one night stands with strangers the norm for her. Characters like the glamorous Billy Q and drug-addled Ezra come and go on the tour like ghosts.

D’Erasmo gives us an inside look at a world most of us will never experience. As Anna strives for perfection in her music, you get the feeling she might just make it.

D’Erasmo is a recipient of Guggenheim and Stegner fellowships, and the author of three previous novels and a book of nonfiction. Her work has appeared in The New York Times (Magazine and Book Review), Book Forum and Ploughshares. She is an associate professor in the MFA program at Columbia University.

Betty Lytle, for The Oklahoman