Named a PopSugar summer read
BuzzFeed, "22 Exciting New Books You Need To Read This Summer"
Named one of Coastal Living's "50 Books of Summer"
Elle, "The 24 Best Books to Read This Summer"
Named a Goop summer read
Bustle, "29 New Fiction Books To Read This Summer"
Vanity Fair, "What to Read Right Now
Goodbye, Vitamin, the story of a family facing their father's long, slow slide into dementia, is an odd little book. In many ways it's somewhat irreverent; with low-brow humor, and off-topic observations, mixed in with trivia of all sorts. Yet, it also shows a deep compassion for those struggling with dementia; the daughter, Ruth, unflaggingly tries to help her father, Howard — in so many ways. The story is told in tiny vignettes, layers upon layers of them; they settle on top of each other and reveal the patterns and textures of family and home. Howard has kept a diary of Ruth's amusing and sweet foibles growing up, and Ruth unintentionally does the same as she tries to track Howard's diminishing abilities. Soon the child becomes the parent, and the parent becomes the child; a scenario that is all too familiar today. Written with empathy and sensitivity, Goodbye, Vitamin is a heartfelt and heartbreaking book, but laced with enough laconic humor to keep away the maudlin. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR; O, The Oprah Magazine; Vogue; San Francisco Chronicle; Esquire; Huffington Post; Nylon; Entertainment Weekly; BuzzFeed; Booklist; and The Independent
Her life at a crossroads, a young woman goes home again in this funny and inescapably moving debut from a wonderfully original new literary voice.
Freshly disengaged from her fiancé and feeling that life has not turned out quite the way she planned, thirty-year-old Ruth quits her job, leaves town and arrives at her parents' home to find that situation more complicated than she'd realized. Her father, a prominent history professor, is losing his memory and is only erratically lucid. Ruth's mother, meanwhile, is lucidly erratic. But as Ruth's father's condition intensifies, the comedy in her situation takes hold, gently transforming all her grief.
Told in captivating glimpses and drawn from a deep well of insight, humor, and unexpected tenderness, Goodbye, Vitamin pilots through the loss, love, and absurdity of finding one's footing in this life.
"Heartbreaking but also funny. . . .sparkling. . . .illuminating. . . .[Goodbye, Vitamin is] a novel modeled on real life, where humor often rubs shoulders with pathos, and Ruth's gift as a narrator is her ability to observe and record it all." San Francisco Chronicle
"Told in a diary format over the year that Ruth spends at home, Goodbye, Vitamin is a quietly brilliant disquisition on family relationships and adulthood, told in prose that is so startling in its spare beauty that I found myself thinking about Khong's turns of phrase for days after I finished reading." The New York Times Book Review
"...[Goodbye, Vitamin] is about so many things...and at the same time it is about only one thing, the really important thing, the imperative... to connect. Rarely has gravitas been handled with such lightness of touch, or a sad story told so happily." David Leavitt, author of The Indian Clerk and The Lost Language of Cranes
"Tender yet funny in turns, Goodbye, Vitamin offers poignant insight into family, memory, marriage, parenthood, love, and loss." BuzzFeed
About the Author
Rachel Khong grew up in Southern California and holds degrees from Yale University and the University of Florida. From 2011 to 2016, she was the managing editor then executive editor of Lucky Peach magazine. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Tin House, Buzzfeed, Joyland, American Short Fiction, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Believer, and California Sunday. Goodbye, Vitamin is her debut novel. She lives in San Francisco.