cover image Wonderland


Stacey D’Erasmo. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22 (256p) ISBN 978-0-544-07481-1

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)