A young woman journeys from New Mexico to the Midwest, trying to make sense of her life as an artist and how it meshes with her family, faith, and inner selfNell Schwartz is a Brooklyn-born Jewish girl who reinvents herself in the communes of Taos, renaming herself Banana Rose—because she’s “bananas.” But Nell struggles with her inner fears and desires, the demands of the artist’s life, and the irrepressible call of home. While living in New Mexico, Nell falls in love with and marries a free-spirited horn player named Gauguin. They travel east to experience city life, and then to the Midwest to be closer to family, but their tempestuous relationship cools as Nell’s free-spiritedness and Jewishness seem under constant scrutiny. For solace, Nell turns to her friend Anna, a writer who teaches Nell what it means to be an artist. Nell is slowly transformed by love, loss, and art, gaining a new sense of self. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Natalie Goldberg, including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.