Clever and dry and funny . . . Vida has written a thriller: a thriller about how we love and how we forgive and when and how we have to choose to do so.
—The New York Review of Books
It’s a challenge to not fall in love with Vida’s characters. . . . Equally humorous and heartbreaking. . . . Vida has written an enormously giving and heartfelt exploration.
—The Austin Chronicle
A swift, fleet novel, a spare but polished miniature. . . . Vida writes with a sense of urgency, and with leapfrogging good humor.
—New York Times Book Review
Astonishingly accomplished. . . . Vida creates the stunning impression that relationships are always provisional, even if the most random human interaction has the power to alter—or save—your life.
—Los Angeles Times
Glows with an offbeat aura of benediction that is reminiscent of Salinger, as is its quirky grasp of the contemporary human comedy.
—The Boston Globe
Utterly gripping, a book to be read in one sitting.
—The Times Literary Supplement (London)
And Now You Can Go is so fast, so mesmerizing to read, and so accomplished that it’s hard to think of it as a first novel, which it is—Vendela Vida has talent to spare.
—Joan Didion, author of The Year of Magical Thinking
I was captivated from the first page, compelled to keep reading until I finished in the wee hours of the morning. Vida’s novel is a gift to the reader, a story that contains what I love best about fiction: an idiosyncratic voice, keenly observed gestures, intelligence and heart, and both large and small moments that reverberate in unpredictable ways. It’s the debut of a writer with enormous talents.
—Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club
Vida’s first novel defies expectations in virtually every way; what looks to be a tale of psychological trauma, or even revenge, evolves into something much rarer in contemporary fiction: a joyful investigation of the pleasures of living. . . . beguiling, celebratory, mysterious.
—Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad
And Now You Can Go’s narrator is a cool, quirky customer, but she’s ever ready to do something generous, something noble, something stamped with grace.
—David Schickler, author of The Dark Path
An existential Perils of Pauline: A young woman is robbed—at gunpoint!—of her ability to feel. Whether or not she can learn anew how to love is the question at the heart of this wonderful new novel. Comedic yet serious, minimalist yet lush—this is an exciting debut.
—Jonathon Ames, author of You Were Never Really Here
New York Times Notable Books of 2003
A fearless, critically acclaimed fiction debut that follows the unpredictable recovery of a young woman as she tries to make sense of her life after an encounter at gunpoint.
Accosted one afternoon in Riverside Park by a man who doesn’t want to die alone, Ellis, a young grad student, talks her way out of the situation by reciting poetry to her desperate captor. He lets her go, but is she free? Rejecting the overtures of her kindhearted boyfriend, the police, and the suitors who would like to save her, Ellis finds herself unable to escape the event. She leaves the city to visit her family and joins her mother on a medical mission to the Philippines. When she returns, Ellis discovers something more about life—perhaps even how to take back her own.