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Vendela Vida Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

And Now You Can Go (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lovers (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
We Run the Tides (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Girls on the Verge: Debutante Dips, Drive-Bys, and Other Initiations (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Confidence, or the Appearance of Confidence: The Best of the Believer Music Interviews (With: Ross Simonini) (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Let's Break Some Black Hearts: A Decade of Film Interviews from The Believer (With: Ross Simonini) (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers(2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Read Hard: Five Years of Great Writing from the Believer(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Always Apprentices(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ploughshares Spring 2017 Issue(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Writer's Library(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

About Vendela Vida

The American novelist Vendela Vida is a world renowned author of literary fiction, well known for being innovative and creative with the form. She has a unique voice that really stands out from the rest, giving her characters a distinctive and somewhat different path from the rest. This unconventional approach really has allowed her to create something entirely new and different as well. Understanding exactly what it is that she wants to say, she takes her stories in new and exciting directions, making for some highly compelling and interesting stories.

Teaching writing creatively as well as writing herself, Vida is a highly prominent voice and figure throughout the industry. Working at San Jose State University, she was the Lurie Author-in-Residence there, and an instructor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. This was in 2017, and would see her teaching a number of students during her time there, something which she continues through her non-profit ‘826 Valencia.’ Currently she lives with her husband and fellow novelist Dave Eggers, along with their two children living in the Bay Area, as she continues to write regularly.

Early and Personal Life

Born on the 6th of September, 1971, in San Francisco, California, Vendela Vida would grow up with both of her parents being European immigrants. With a Swedish mother, she would inherit her name Vendela from her grandmother who was on her mother’s side of the family. Leaving California in 1993, she would attend Middlebury College in Vermont, whereby she would gain a Bachelor’s Degree in English.

Not long after she would meet her future husband and fellow author Dave Eggers through a mutual friends of theirs. Continuing her studies at Columbia University she would graduate with a Master of Fine Arts, before going on to intern for the ‘Paris Review’ following her graduation. She would later go on to write her first book, and would also set-up the non-profit ‘826 Valencia’ teaching creative writing to children and teens, as she continues to write to this day.

Writing Career

Adapting her master’s thesis into her first book ‘Girls on the Verge,’ Vendela Vida would make her literary debut in 1999 with a non-fiction title. Later in 2003 she would go on to publish her first fiction title called ‘And Now You Can Go’ and this was planned to be part of a trilogy about violence and rage, with it being about assault. Other books would also be turned into scripts, and she’d also receive praise from her contemporaries, such as the writer Joyce Carol Oates recommending her 2010 book ‘The Lovers.’

Not focusing on series as such, Vida mainly opts for stand-alone works of literary fiction, telling singular stories with self-contained narratives. She has also written screenplays too, notably the 2009 film ‘Away We Go’ written alongside her husband, which was directed by Sam Mendes. Winning awards for her work, such as the Kate Chopin award and being the New York Times Book of the year twice, she will carry on gaining recognition for quite some time to come.

Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name

First published back in 2007 on the 2nd of January, this would initially come out through the ‘Ecco’ publishing imprint. Working entirely as a stand-alone piece of literary fiction, it would tell an interesting and engaging story with elements of mystery. It would be Vida’s second novel to come out, and it would also be a part of the 2007 Spring Collection later that same year.

Written in a sparing style, the sparse approach to the language used here is reminiscent of novelists such as Hemingway. Vida really understands the form, making the most of her subject matter, and allowing her stories to come fully to life. The main character of Clarissa is extremely well drawn, and her emotions all feel entirely real, as it invests the reader completely in the story.

She was only fourteen years old when her mother disappeared, and then, at twenty-eight, her father dies, leading to Clarissa Iverton realizing he wasn’t actually her father at all just days after his passing. Moving away from her comfortable life in New York City, she heads to Helsinki and Lapland, meeting the Sami people there, where she finds ties she never knew existed. Uncovering the secrets that her mother worked so hard to keep from her, Clarissa begins to realize the harsh and violent truths about her links to these ancient people. Leaving her fiancée behind, she attempts to discover the truth, entering an entirely new world in this new and stark frozen landscape filled with intrigue.

The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty

Originally brought out through the ‘HarperCollins Publishers’ outlet, this would first come out in 2015 on the 2nd of June. It would be a stand-alone novel once again, looking at the concept of identity this time through its lead female character. The book would also gain a lot of recognition too, receiving plenty of awards, and being placed on many lists as well.

It really was an engaging read that was difficult to put down from the very beginning, as there was always a reason to continue turning the page. With something always just around the corner, there was plenty of character and warmth too, whilst also featuring a lot of strong ideas throughout as well. There’s a lot on the concept of identity, as it speaks on what makes a person and becoming the person they really want to be.

During a trip to Casablanca in Morocco, a woman has her passport and all her belongings stolen from her hotel room. Trying to retrieve her identification the authorities are no help, and it seems they are complicit with the hotel staff, as she now finds herself with no identity. This leads to her being spotted by a film crew, as they ask her whether or not she want to be the body-double to a reclusive celebrity. Will she take up the offer of a new life? Who will she now choose to be? What will happen as the diver’s clothes lie empty?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Vendela Vida

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