13 November 2012

"Jane" by Dee Wells

One of my favorite books is entitled "Jane" by American author Dee Wells, who died in 2003. I've owned several copies throughout my life, the latest acquisition a former library book from Seattle. I've been reading this book on and off since it came out in --- I think! --- 1977. It never gets old.

I always thought Dee Wells was much before her time. "Jane" tells the story of Jane Cornell, an American ex-pat in London. Single and about 35 years old, Jane works for a third-rate newspaper, serving as the movie guru and critic. She entertains 3 lovers at once, and a diverse crew they are: one is Lord Anthony, a real peer; Tom, a years-younger burgler and petty thief; and Franklin, a black lawyer who is in the UK while doing something (I've forgotten what) at Oxford or Cambridge (details unimportant).

Jane manages the 3 guys with aplomb, and all is going well until she gets pregnant and doesn't know which suitor is the father. To say hilarity ensues would be pushing it, but it' all very amusing and very realistic.

I kind of identified with Jane a lot, even though she would have been about 10 years my senior and I've never been part of an interracial couple, so don't know the pressures that would entail in the 1970's. The older I get, the more I appreciate Dee Wells' work. This was her only book, though she surely could have written more.

"Jane" is filled with very witty dialogue and might even today be an excellent film. On the book jacket, the original from 'way back when, it states that it is "soon to be a major motion picture," but never got made. Don't know who holds the rights, but someone should be looking into make this book into a film, considering the crapola that's being made right now. Heck, there's a remake of "Anna Karenina" out now, so why not "Jane?"

At Bookcrossing, it is not my habit to enter books from my private collection, as I rarely lend them to people I don't know, and I see no point. My Bookcrossing bookshelf is 99% books I intend to give away. Coincidentally, a couple of books from my private collection are listed, and I always think about removing them, but procrastintion wins out and I do nothing.

I would love to give examples of some of Dee Wells' writing here, but don't want to get sued due to copyright restrictions. I suggest trying Amazon.com to read excerpts from her book to get a feel for her writing. It's laugh-out-loud funny, but don't take my word for it. Some libraries still have it on their shelves, so check it out.

Dee Wells' private life was fairly interesting, too. Her daughter, Alexandra "Gully" Wells, recently published a memoir about the family's French summer house, and there are many interesting details about her mother and the eclectic collection of friends and relatives who came to visit.

Hitting the non-sequitur bandwagon, I'm preparing two books for controlled release to Australia and Holland. Have I mentioned that before? It can be a topic for another day.

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