Rachel Khong Goodbye, Vitamin: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9781250109163

Goodbye, Vitamin: A Novel

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9781250109163: Goodbye, Vitamin: A Novel
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Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, O, The Oprah Magazine, Vogue, San Francisco Chronicle, Esquire, Huffington Post, Nylon, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, Booklist, and The Independent

Winner of the California Book Award for First Fiction
Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist for First Fiction

"A quietly brilliant disquisition . . . told in prose that is so startling in its spare beauty that I found myself thinking about Khong's turns of phrase for days after I finished reading."―Doree Shafrir, The New York Times Book Review

"One of those rare books that is both devastating and light-hearted, heartful and joyful. . . . Don't miss it."―Buzzfeed

"Hello, Rachel Khong. Kudos for this delectable take on familial devotion and dementia."―NPR

Her life at a crossroads, a young woman goes home again in this funny and inescapably moving debut from a wonderfully original new literary voice.

Freshly disengaged from her fiancé and feeling that life has not turned out quite the way she planned, thirty-year-old Ruth quits her job, leaves town and arrives at her parents’ home to find that situation more complicated than she'd realized. Her father, a prominent history professor, is losing his memory and is only erratically lucid. Ruth’s mother, meanwhile, is lucidly erratic. But as Ruth's father’s condition intensifies, the comedy in her situation takes hold, gently transforming her all her grief.

Told in captivating glimpses and drawn from a deep well of insight, humor, and unexpected tenderness, Goodbye, Vitamin pilots through the loss, love, and absurdity of finding one’s footing in this life.

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Review:

An Amazon Best Book of July 2017: Goodbye, Vitamin is a generous and funny novel about love, family, and finding your way. After her father’s Alzheimer’s disease progresses, 30-year old Ruth pulls up stakes and moves home temporarily to help care for him. The timing is fortuitous given that Ruth’s own life has recently gone sideways with a broken engagement and the realization that her life at 30 is not what she’d envisioned. What struck me most about this novel is the influence of memories. How much we depend on them to remind us who we are, where we've been, and all the emotions attached to them. Memories can betray us--when we’re in love we hold snapshots of special moments close, but when our heart is broken all we want is to push them away. Yet there they remain. And within a family, each person's recollection of pivotal moments shapes the dynamic of the whole. Author Rachel Khong finds the humor in painful moments without diluting their importance and brings insight into the absurdity of trying to find balance when even our own minds may send us spinning in circles. Goodbye, Vitamin is a book I truly enjoyed cover-to-cover; it gave me the chance to laugh--a lot--and also see a few things in my own life from a different perspective. Because at the end of the day, as Ruth puts says in the book, “It doesn’t matter who remembers what, I guess, so long as somebody remembers something.”--Seira Wilson

About the Author:

Rachel Khong grew up in Southern California and holds degrees from Yale University and the University of Florida. From 2011 to 2016, she was the managing editor then executive editor of Lucky Peach magazine. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Tin House, Buzzfeed, Joyland, American Short Fiction, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Believer, and California Sunday. Goodbye, Vitamin is her debut novel. She lives in San Francisco.

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