Born on a cotton farm in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, Rebecca Wells comes from a culture where story telling is as essential and as rich as gumbo. As Rebecca puts it, “I came from loud, funny people who would fight over who got to read the latest volume of Readers’ Digest Condensed Books. When my novel Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood became a bestseller, I couldn’t help but think of how I used to get confused that both books and milk could be condensed. This confounded me as a girl and still does.”
Rebecca's Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, about mothers and daughters, female friendships, alcoholism, and spirituality, was on the #1 NY Times Bestseller list for over a year, winner of the American Booksellers Award, and short-listed for the Orange Prize. The book launched a host of "Ya-Ya" clubs worldwide, as well as a host of books about girlfriends, and was made into a feature film by Warner Brothers. Her novel has been translated into 28 languages, has sold over 6 million copies, and continues to be one of the most beloved novels about women written in the 20th century.
Rebecca Wells’ other best-selling novels include Little Altars Everywhere (winner of the Western States Book Award) and Ya-Yas in Bloom. Her stand-alone novel, The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder introduced an entirely new set of characters, from the magical Louisiana town of Le Clair.
An accomplished actress and playwright, Rebecca has toured her one-woman show Splittin’ Hairs throughout the country, including Bush, Alaska. In her play Gloria Duplex, called “one of the glories of the decade” by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Rebecca developed and performed the title role of an erotic dancer in the French Quarter who sees the face of God in the mirror ball above her dance floor.
A graduate of Louisiana State University, Rebecca studied Tibetan Buddhism and creative writing at the Naropa Institute. She studied acting in New York City, and performed off Broadway. She has been a guest artist, teaching writing and acting at University of Idaho, University of California at Santa Cruz, Washington State University, and Antioch University. She has been a waitress at Yellowstone National Park, worked as an actress in regional theaters across the country, and hired out as a fortune-telling gypsy for sorority reunions.
Rebecca comments, “I was sprung from the jail of Southern Ladyhood with the help of Janis Joplin, Yellowstone National Park, and Our Lady of Guadalupe.”
After almost forty years as an expatriate, Rebecca has returned to the South and currently lives in Nashville, TN with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Mercy. She volunteers her time to such organizations as Room In The Inn, and is a member of Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH) and the Nashville Non-Violent Communication community. Rebecca continues to tour her new one-woman show An Evening with Rebecca Wells and the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and is currently writing her first memoir.