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.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
The premise of Vendela Vida's terrific debut novel, And Now You Can Go, seems at first a tad depressing, in a Bernard Goetz, New-York-in-the-1980s kind of way. The narrator, a young woman named Ellis, is walking in Riverside Park when she is held up at gunpoint. The man assures her he doesn't want her money, and he doesn't push her into the bushes to rape her. Ellis notices the designer name on his glasses: Giorgio Armani; she begins to obsess on this detail. Then she starts to recite poetry to him to cheer him up about life. The encounter ends as abruptly as it began, when the man simply runs away down the street. Even though no blood has been shed, Ellis's life is utterly changed.
In fast, clean, funny prose, we find Ellis slipping adrift from her routine as a Columbia grad student and falling into a series of mini-romances. When she goes home to San Francisco for winter break, her mom suggests Ellis join her on a medical mission to the Philippines. The work and the heat and the exhaustion settle her down for the first time since the attack, and she returns to New York a little refreshed. There's one more encounter with the gunman, which Vida plays more comic than tragic. In fact, the strength of this novel is in the way Vida toys with her priorities. The scenes that ought to be fraught and suspenseful have a goofy kind of oh-well voice to them; the scenes that ought to be dull--like Ellis's run-ins with her annoying roommate--exert a weirdly compelling narrative drive. Both the author and her protagonist charm us utterly. --Claire DedererFrom the Back Cover:
"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."
"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
“I was captivated from the first page, compelled to keep reading until I finished in the wee hours of the morning. 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. And Now You Can Go doesn’t let go. It is the debut of a writer with enormous talents.” –Amy Tan
“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 Kissing in Manhattan
"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."
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Vintage, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 208 pages. 7.80x5.16x0.55 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0099452146