Rebecca Wells

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Rebecca Wells
Born February 3, 1953
Alexandria, Louisiana
Occupation Novelist, actor, theater director
Language English
Nationality United States
Notable works Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
Little Altars Everywhere

Rebecca Wells (born February 3, 1953) is an American author, actor, and playwright known for the Ya-Ya Sisterhood series, which includes the books Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Little Altars Everywhere, Ya-Yas in Bloom, and The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder.


Wells was born and raised in Alexandria, Louisiana, where her family owned and ran a cotton farm.[1] She attended Louisiana State University[2] and, after graduating, the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado, where she studied language and consciousness with Allen Ginsberg and Choyyam Trungapa Rinpoche, as well as acting, movement, and voice with members of The Living Theater. She then went to New York City, where she studied the Stanislavski Method of acting.[3]

In 1982 she moved to Seattle, Washington,[4][5] making her home on Bainbridge Island.[6][7] She currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Writing career[edit]

Wells' first book, Little Altars Everywhere, (1992) recounts the multi-layered saga of the turbulent Walker family in Thornton, Louisiana, from the 1960s to the present and introduces the characters Siddalee Walker, her mother Viviane, and her mother's best friends, the Ya-Yas, whose stories continue in Wells' other books. It won the Western States Book Award [8] and became a New York Times bestseller.[9]

Her second novel, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (1996) explores Siddalee's troubled relationship with her mother, and the deeper understanding she gains when her mother sends her the "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood," a scrapbook chronicling the girlhood adventures of Vivi and her three best friends. A number one New York Times bestseller, it won the American Booksellers Award, and was short-listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction (now known as the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction).[10] It was adapted for the 2002 film Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood starring Sandra Bullock as Siddalee Walker and Ellen Burstyn as her mother Vivi.[11]

Wells' third novel, Ya-Yas in Bloom, (2005) reveals the roots of the friendship of the Ya-Ya sisterhood in the 1930s.[12] Ya-Yas in Bloom reached the #3 spot on both the New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists [13][14]

Her fourth novel, The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder, (2009) set in 1960s Louisiana, departs from the characters in Wells' other books, an introduces a new character, Calla Lily Ponder, and her friends.[15]

Theater work[edit]

A playwright and actor before she began writing fiction, Wells is known for her one-woman show, Splittin' Hairs, and her play, Gloria Duplex, about a French Quarter erotic dancer who sees the face of God in a disco ball, which was called "one of the glories of the decade" by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.[16][17][18]


Short stories[edit]


  1. ^ DNJ Daily News Journal - USA Today Network Wells speaks at MTSU about life after hit novel October 08, 2015
  2. ^ Seattle Times 1993 January 17
  3. ^
  4. ^ Seattle Times October 8, 2015
  5. ^ The Bergen County Cooperative Library System (BCCLS)
  6. ^ People Magazine October 05, 1998 Vol. 50 No. 12
  7. ^ Local authors, Bainbridge Public Library, March 26, 2011, archived from the original on January 19, 2012, retrieved 2012-01-25 
  8. ^ "Programs :: Book Awards". Archived from the original on 2008-07-08. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  9. ^ "Paperback Best Sellers: August 23, 1998". New York Times. August 23, 1998. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  10. ^ The Independent April 18, 2000
  11. ^ People Magazine October 05, 1998 Vol. 50 No. 12
  12. ^ USA Today March 28, 2005
  13. ^ New York Times Best Sellers April 24, 2005
  14. ^ Publishers Weekly Yay-Yays for Ya-Yas Volume 252 Issue 15 04/11/2005
  15. ^ The Seattle Times July 3, 2009
  16. ^ The Seattle Weekly The Divine Ascension of Rebecca Wells October 9, 2006
  17. ^ The Seattle Times One-Woman Show - Rebecca Wells Is Still In Control After All These Years October 9, 2006
  18. ^ Know Southern History Rebecca Wells

External links[edit]