- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
And Now You Can Goby Vendela Vida
Synopses & Reviews
A sharply humorous, fast-paced debut novel about the effects—some predictable, some wildly unexpected—that an encounter at gunpoint can have on the life of a (previously) assured young woman.
The gun in question is pointed at twenty-one-year-old Ellis as she walks through a New York City park. In the end she is unrobbed and physically unharmed. But she is left psychologically reeling.
Over the next few weeks Ellis keeps everyone at bay: the police, the men who want to save her (“the ROTC boy” poet and “the red-faced representative of the world”), and the university therapist who hints that her sweaters may be too tight. But when Ellis accompanies her mother, a nurse, on a mission to the Philippines, she finds that life—even if held up—cannot be held back, and neither, finally, can she.
"Richly drawn, unpredictable, and wryly funny, Vida's debut is dazzling. Manhattan — both people and place — are rendered with rare authenticity. Highly recommended..." Library Journal
"At fewer than 200 pages, And Now You Can Go has more of the tease of the novella than the satisfying whump of the novel. Vida's next project could well be more ambitious — she has earned it." Ruth Franklin, The Washington Post
"Steeped in her wild cynicism, [Ellis] also finds the grace to reach beyond herself, and that surprising combination is what makes this first novel unforgettable." Hazel Rochman, Booklist
"It's a good thing Vida makes her fiction debut with this novel instead of a story collection: she takes getting used to, but it's worthwhile....Hilarious and touching, icily removed, yet bracingly real." Kirkus Reviews
"The end, unfortunately, arrives just as the book began — abruptly — and the reader longs for something more. Nevertheless, this remains an intriguing and auspicious debut." Publishers Weekly
"Vendela 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." Amy Tan, author of The Bonesetter's Daughter
"And Now You Can Go's narrator is a cool customer, drifting through a world of violence and charity and screwed-up suitors. But she's ever ready to do something generous, something noble, something stamped with grace." David Schickler, author of Kissing in Manhattan
"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 promise to spare." Joan Didion
"An existential Perils-of-Pauline: A young woman is robbed — at gun point! — 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." Jonathan Ames, author of The Extra Man
"Vendela Vida's first novel defies expectations in virtually every way; what looks 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. And Now You Can Go is beguiling, celebratory, and faintly mysterious." Jennifer Egan
"As Ellis gradually returns to life, her unadorned narration is honest, quirky, and surprisingly compelling." Emily Mead, Entertainment Weekly
"Vida... creates a complex but sympathetic heroine on a voyage and entices you to follow." Clea Simon, The Boston Phoenix
"The novel is an impressive accomplishment. Ellis' voice completely convinces and enthralls, making And Now You Can Go succeed in a way few narrative-driven novels can." Erik Henriksen, The Portland Mercury
"Subtle and psychologically acute, And Now You Can Go is a story that captures the way life resists being turned into neat narrative." Michelle Goldberg, Newsday
About the Author
Vendela Vida's first book, Girls on the Verge, grew out of her M.F.A. thesis at Columbia University. She is co-editor of The Believer magazine, and lives in Northern California with her husband. This is her first novel.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like