Banana Rose

Banana Rose

by Natalie Goldberg


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The bestselling novel from the beloved author of Writing Down the Bones, Wild Mind, and Long Quiet Highway is now available in paperback for the first time.  With a half-million copies in print of her three remarkable books of nonfiction, Natalie Goldberg has inspired a generation of writers with her insight, humor, and empathy.  Subtly hilarious and achingly raw, her first novel Banana Rose has rewarded her devoted fans while attracting a whole new readership to her work.

Banana Rose is the story of Nell Schwartz, a Brooklyn-born Jewish girl who moves to the Taos of communes and sweet cedar smoke, transforms herself into Banana Rose (because she's "bananas"), falls in love with a horn player named Gauguin, and believes they can stop time if they just love hard enough.  It's also about Nell and Anna, a strange-eyed writer as lonely as the Nebraska farm where she grew up, whose kisses taste like raspberries and who teaches Nell what it means to be an artist.  But most of all, Banana Rose is about Nell's struggle with her own wild heart, with the demands of canvas and paint, with her family and faith, and with her irrepressible longing for home.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553375138
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/28/1997
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 1,009,485
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.28(h) x 0.97(d)

About the Author

Natalie Goldberg lives in northern New Mexico and is the author of Writing Down the Bones, Wild MindLong Quiet HighwayBanana Rose, and Living Color, a book about her work as a painter. She teaches writing in workshops nationwide.

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The Banana Rose 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
melydia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Like, I suspect, most people who read this book, I picked it up out of a love for Goldberg's books on writing, most notably Writing Down the Bones. In those books she emphasizes freewriting and original detail far more than standard stuff like plot, character, and revision, and it is quite evident in this debut novel. Nell is a hippie living near Taos, New Mexico; this is the story of her journey to becoming an artist. The language is vibrant and the metaphors unforgettable, but the story and dialogue often fall flat. Nell is a total brat for about the first half of the book, which was long enough that I didn't really care much what happened to her by the end. That said, I cannot overemphasize the gorgeousness of the prose. Sure, the story is about Nell, but mostly it is a love letter to New Mexico. It made me long for the desert. Hopefully Goldberg's later novels have improved character and story without losing the fantastic imagery.
beowulf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is Natalie Goldberg's first and only novel. It seems to be semi-autobiographical in nature if you've read any of her writing books or autobiographical books such as Long Quiet Highway. It was a beautifully written book in which she seems to employ all of her writing advice... show don't tell, etc. I read this years ago and eagerly awaited another novel, but none ever came. I think her writing books are top notch but if she dedicated more time to fiction I think she could write an even better novel than this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved 'Writing Down the Bones' and 'Wild Mind', but it appears that although Natalie Goldberg can write books about how to write novels, she can't actually write novels herself. 'Banana Rose' was just obnoxious. The heroine was completely unlikeable and every freaking scene revolved around eating. (Things would literally jump from a dinner table to a candy bar to a breakfast brunch...etc.) The whole story was just pointless. Stay away from this book if you want to keep respecting Natalie Goldberg. Her nonfiction rocks, but this novel was appalling.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been quite the Natalie Goldberg fan. I have devoured anything she has written. I am writing this review, and I am only half through with the novel. I think it is excellent. I can't wait to see what happens next. I love the short chapters....because before you know it, after saying...ok, just one more chapter, you've read half the book. I just read the reviews from the quote unquote literary magazines, or whatever, and....hello....if they only had a clue. They gave the book one star. Wow. I guess these people don't have a clue. They have never experienced the uncertainty of creation....of being a writer...of being a painter. It's an ambiguous thing...and it's quite compelling to read Banana Rose and the way she came through it all. I love this story so far, and quite honestly, I've begun painting again...which has cracked open my wild writing mind. A must read for anyone creative. that means..any kind of formal reviewers don't have a clue as to what this book means!! Cheers to my fellow creators!