Eddie and Bella by Wayne Wilson

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Where have all the flower children gone? Wilson's second novel answers this question with the story of Eddie, a handsome, sensitive poet whose "spiritual" name is Raphael, and Bella, a head-turning beauty with glorious curly hair and a sharp wit. Ah, but time passes, and the myth fades fast. Eddie comes to realize that life with Bella is a little too real for his poetic self: dog hair in the drains, coke up her nose, flat tires, and unpaid bills. Bella is arrested for drunk driving. Eddie whips his outrageous poetry on another woman--and another and another. He leaves Bella, pretends she died, wears her I Ching coin around his neck, and proceeds to a life of disappointment and bad luck. Bella and her wise-mouthed daughters also live on the edge of despair as they trek from a kibbutz in Israel to Boston to New Orleans, never quite making it. We know it's inevitable that Eddie and Bella will meet again, but what happens on the way to that encounter makes great reading. Wilson's writing is soaked with patchouli oil; his characters are quirky, pitiful, funny, gorgeous, sad, and so human. In the end, the flower children may wither a bit, but they don't wilt.

About Wayne Wilson

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Wayne Wilson's first novel, Loose Jam, was published in 1990 to critical acclaim. His stories have appeared in Buzz, New Delta Review, the Carolina Quarterly, and other literary magazines. He received his MFA from Louisiana State University. A graphic artist and editor in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Wilson also teaches fiction writing at the Harvard Extension School in Boston.
Published January 2, 2001 by Algonquin Books. 304 pages
Genres: Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Starting at the historical moment when being stoned was still a statement and the Doobie Brothers were the happening band, Raphael begins a desultory journey of sorts, criss-crossing the country and occasionally hearing news of Bella, who seems to be always one step ahead of him.

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Publishers Weekly

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The two embark on a tempestuous live-in relationship, but before long Bella's baggageDwhich comes in the form of a husband, two kids and a heavy-duty substance-abuse problemDbecomes too much for Eddie, so he hits the road and tells people that Bella is dead.

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