Vida, Vendela 1972-
Vida, Vendela 1972-
Born September 6, 1972; married Dave Eggers (an author), 2003; children: October Adelaide Eggers Vida. Education: Attended Middlebury College; Columbia University, M.F.A. Politics: Democrat.
Home—San Francisco, CA.
Author. During early career, worked as an intern for the Paris Review, a consultant for Tampax, and a subtitle writer for the Thai film The Legend of Suriyothai; teacher and founding board member, 826 Valencia (volunteer tutorial program for high school students); founding editor, The Believer (magazine).
Girls on the Verge: Debutante Dips, Gang Drivebys, and Other Initiations (nonfiction), St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1999.
And Now You Can Go (first novel in a trilogy), Knopf (New York, NY), 2003.
(Editor) The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers, Believer Books (San Francisco, CA), 2005.
Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name (second novel in a trilogy), Ecco (New York, NY), 2007.
Contributor to periodicals, including Jane and Vogue.
Vendela Vida is the author of both fiction and nonfiction titles. Girls on the Verge: Debutante Dips, Gang Drivebys, and Other Initiations began as her master's thesis at Columbia University; it addresses different modern rituals for girls who are coming of age, covering everything from sorority rush to gang initiations. Deborah Bigelow remarked in Library Journal that the book "offers a sociological perspective on an individual's need for affiliation, connection, and community."
And Now You Can Go is Vida's first novel in a planned trilogy about rage and violence. The book addresses the repercussions after Ellis, a Columbia University art history student, is held at gunpoint by a suicidal gunman. Improbably, Ellis gets him to leave her alone by reciting poetry. Although Ellis is unharmed and not even robbed, the trauma has a major effect on her psyche and the ways in which she interacts with friends and family. San Francisco Chronicle critic Joshunda Sanders wrote of the book: "A humorous and eventful journey through Ellis' early twenties, it offers an offbeat cast of characters: a drunken doorman, Ellis' vintage-pipe-collecting roommate and an awkward, strung-out guy she calls only ‘the representative of the world.’ Vida's eye for detail creates a tangible sense of urgency, combined with a number of laugh-out-loud moments." A Publishers Weekly contributor observed: "The end … arrives just as the book began—abruptly—and the reader longs for something more. Nevertheless, this remains an intriguing and auspicious debut."
Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name is the next volume in Vida's trilogy. The book follows Clarissa, a young woman who discovers after her father's sudden death that he was not, in fact, her biological father. The name on her birth certificate belongs to a man who lives in Lapland, and so, in shock, she boards a plane to Finland with the intention of locating him. A contributor for Kirkus Reviews called the book "a luminescent and evocative tale of grief, free of the standard clichés."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July, 2003, Hazel Rochman, review of And Now You Can Go, pp. 1867-1868.
Chicago Sun-Times, September 21, 2003, review of And Now You Can Go, p. 13.
Entertainment Weekly, August 22, 2003, Emily Mead, review of And Now You Can Go, p. 135.
Guardian (London, England), September 23, 2003, Duncan Campbell, "What Do They Mean?" interview with Vendela Vida.
Independent on Sunday (London, England), October 5, 2003, Laurence Phelan, review of And Now You Can Go, p. 19.
Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2003, review of And Now You Can Go, p. 832; September 15, 2006, review of Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, p. 929.
Kliatt, January, 2005, Nola Theiss, review of And Now You Can Go, p. 18.
Library Journal, August, 1999, Deborah Bigelow, review of Girls on the Verge: Debutante Dips, Gang Drivebys, and Other Initiations, p. 124; May 15, 2003, Eleanor J. Bader, review of And Now You Can Go, p. 128.
New York Times, August 24, 2003, Stephanie Zacharek, review of And Now You Can Go, p. 6.
People, September 22, 2003, John Freeman, review of And Now You Can Go, p. 56.
Publishers Weekly, June 21, 1999, review of Girls on the Verge, p. 44; July 7, 2003, Edward Nawotka, "Act of Implied Violence Inspires Novel," p. 52; July 7, 2003, review of And Now You Can Go, p. 52.
Review of Contemporary Fiction, spring, 2006, review of The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers, pp. 153-154.
San Diego Union-Tribune, August 3, 2003, Tiffany Lee-Youngren, review of And Now You Can Go, p. 7.
San Francisco Chronicle, August 23, 2003, David Kipen, review of And Now You Can Go, p. D1; August 27, 2003, Joshunda Sanders, "Vendela Vida Floats amid S.F. Literati but Keeps Feet, Attitude Firmly Planted," p. D1.
Washington Post Book World, August 24, 2003, Ruth Franklin, "Girl Interrupted," review of And Now You Can Go, p. 6.
Identity Theory,http://www.identitytheory.com/ (November 15, 2006), Robert Birnbaum, interview with Vendela Vida.
Seattle Weekly Online,http://www.seattleweekly.com/ (September 10, 2003), review of And Now You Can Go.