book cover of And Now You Can Go

And Now You Can Go

(2003)
A novel by

 
 
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 DedererA 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.

Genre: Literary Fiction

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Used availability for Vendela Vida's And Now You Can Go

Hardback Editions

November 2008 : USA Library Binding
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Title: And Now You Can Go
Author(s): Vendela Vida
ISBN: 1-4395-7338-7 / 978-1-4395-7338-9 (USA edition)
Publisher:
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


August 2003 : USA Hardback
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Title: And Now You Can Go
Author(s): Vendela Vida
ISBN: 1-4000-4027-2 / 978-1-4000-4027-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Knopf
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

December 2017 : UK Paperback
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Title: And Now You Can Go
Author(s): Vendela Vida
ISBN: 1-78470-713-9 / 978-1-78470-713-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


September 2004 : UK Paperback
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Title: And Now You Can Go
Author(s): Vendela Vida
ISBN: 0-09-945214-6 / 978-0-09-945214-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


August 2004 : USA Paperback
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Title: And Now You Can Go: A Novel
Author(s): Vendela Vida
ISBN: 1-4000-3241-5 / 978-1-4000-3241-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Anchor
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


August 2003 : UK Paperback
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Title: And Now You Can Go
Author(s): Vendela Vida
ISBN: 0-224-06384-7 / 978-0-224-06384-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

December 2007 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: And Now You Can Go: A Novel
Author(s): Vendela Vida
Publisher: Anchor
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA