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Vendela Vida is the author of the acclaimed novels 'And Now You Can Go' and 'Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name'. She is a founding editor of The Believer magazine, and the editor of The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and children.
What an elegant, edge-of-your-seat triumph this is. Set near the ocean in 1980s San Francisco, Vendela Vida’s We Run the Tides explores the coming-of-age experiences of thirteen-year-old Eulabee and her best friend Maria Fabiola, an enigmatic, attractive, gets-whatever-she-wants kind of girl. They stride affluent Sea Cliff with supreme confidence - the streets are theirs, the world is theirs, and nothing can stop them: “We want to want. We want to love. We want to want love. We are on the precipice of having real boyfriends, of making out with them. We know this.” While walking to their elite girls’ school with other friends, they witness something disturbing. Or so Maria and the rest of the girls claim. Eulabee insists it didn’t happen - to her friends, and the police. Then, in the aftermath of this disagreement that sees Eulabee ostracised, Maria goes missing, prompting an outpouring of anxiety in the neighbourhood as the police investigate her suspected kidnapping. And so an intense entanglement - and unravelling - begins. The potency of teenage female friendship is masterfully evoked - tightly knotted, holding powerful sway, but also quick to fray. And Eulabee’s offbeat voice is mesmeric, authentic and often amusing, notably during the toe-curling account of her first sexual experience. Unique, unexpected, affecting and funny - you couldn’t ask for much more from a novel, and reading this has pushed the rest of Vendela Vida’s novels to the top of my must-read list.
In Vendela Vida's taut and mesmerizing novel of ideas, a woman travels to Casablanca, Morocco, on mysterious business. While checking into her hotel, the woman is robbed of her wallet and passport - all of her money and identification. Though the police investigate, the woman senses an undercurrent of complicity between the hotel staff and the authorities - she knows she'll never recover her possessions. Stripped of her identity, she feels burdened by the crime yet strangely liberated by her sudden freedom to be anyone she chooses. A chance encounter with a movie producer leads to a job posing as a stand-in for a well-known film star. The star reels her in deeper, though, and soon she's inhabiting the actress's skin off set, too - going deeper into the Casablancan night and further from herself. And so continues a strange and breathtaking journey full of unexpected turns, an adventure in which the woman finds herself moving further and further away from the person she once was.
Yvonne is newly widowed, her children grown up. And so, hoping to revisit memories of a happier time, she travels to Turkey. Despite the sand and sea, memories of Yvonne's past are overwhelming and she clings to a newfound friendship with Ahmet, a local boy who makes his living as a shell collector. With Ahmet as her guide, Yvonne finally begins to enjoy the shimmering waters and relaxed pace of the Turkish coast. But when a devastating accident suddenly upends her hard-won peace, she finds her life thrown into chaos and with it her fragile sense of belonging.
A gun is pointed at 21-year-old Ellis as she walks through a New York park. Although she escapes unharmed she is left psychologically reeling. Over the next few weeks Ellis keeps everyone at bay: the police, suitors who want to save her, and the university therapist who hints that her sweaters are too tight. But when Ellis accompanies her mother, a nurse, on a mission in the Philippines, she finds the life - even if held up - cannot be held back, and neither, finally, can she.
Vendela Vida has written a riveting and suspenseful novel about an American womans voyage to self-discovery.Joyce Carol OatesStunning. A masterful meditation on grief and love. The Lovers is a sensational novel from one of our finest writers at the height of her craft.Stephen Elliott, author of The Adderall DiariesIn 2007, Vendela Vidas novel Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. With her new novel, The Lovers, former Kate Chopin Writing Award winner Vida tells a powerful and beautiful tale of a widow returning alone to the site of her honeymoon in Turkey, and her subsequent journeys through her past and her present.
A Radio 4 Book at Bedtime 'The hottest young writer in US fiction' -- Guardian When Clarissa Iverton was fourteen years old, her mother disappeared leaving Clarissa to be raised by her father. Upon his death, Clarissa, now twenty-eight, discovers he wasn't her father at all. Abandoning her fiance, Clarissa travels from New York to Helsinki, and then north of the Arctic Circle - to Lapland. There, under the northern lights, Clarissa not only unearths her family's secrets, but also the truth about herself.