Goodbye, Vitamin: A Novel by Rachel KhongGoodbye, Vitamin: A Novel by Rachel Khong

Goodbye, Vitamin: A Novel

byRachel Khong

Hardcover | July 11, 2017

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"Told in a diary format over the year that Ruth spends at home, Goodbye, Vitamin is a quietly brilliant disquisition on family relationships and adulthood, 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." -The New York Times Book Review

"Heartwarming. . .Endearingly quirky. . .Goodbye, Vitamin is filled with whimsical observations, oddball facts. . . [and] some passages evoke the wonderful offbeat sensibility of Ali Smith. . . .Sweet? Yes. Sugarcoated? Perhaps. Saccharine or cloying? Not to me. 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.

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 Joyland, American Short Fiction, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Believer, and Cali...
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Title:Goodbye, Vitamin: A NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 8.4 × 5.78 × 0.84 inPublished:July 11, 2017Publisher:Henry Holt and Co.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1250109167

ISBN - 13:9781250109163

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from I simply adored this book! In Goodbye, Vitamin we meet a heartbroken 30 year-old Ruth who has moved back home to help her parents in the wake of her father’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Ruth’s father, Howard, who worked as a Professor, is no longer able to teach due to his rapid decline in memory so some of his students band together to try to help him. In the meantime, Howard has given Ruth a book of notes to her he has kept since she was young. Through the notes we get a peek at their memories and their relationship, while simultaneously getting wrapped up in his present decline and the struggles they share as a family. This is a very poignant but lovely story of a family trying to cope with Alzheimer’s disease. Khong gives us a glimpse at the hard, funny, sad, and beautiful moments – and everything in between. The novel was structured as a series of journal entries, which made it relatable and easy to get wrapped up in. Towards the end of the novel Khong did an excellent job accelerating the pace to mimic the quickening pace of real life as you get older, especially when faced with a diagnosis like Howard’s. It’s a grave reminder not to take your life for granted and to cherish the time you have with the people you love, doing the things you love. I am eagerly awaiting whatever is next from Rachel Khong.
Date published: 2017-06-22

Editorial Reviews

Named a PopSugar summer readBuzzFeed, "22 Exciting New Books You Need To Read This Summer"Named one of Coastal Living's "50 Books of Summer"Elle, "The 24 Best Books to Read This Summer"Named a Goop summer readBustle, "29 New Fiction Books To Read This Summer"Vanity Fair, "What to Read Right Now""Told in a diary format over the year that Ruth spends at home, Goodbye, Vitamin is a quietly brilliant disquisition on family relationships and adulthood, 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." -The New York Times Book Review"A heartwarming book. . .Khong's endearingly quirky novel. . .is filled with whimsical observations, oddball facts. . . [and] some passages evoke the wonderful offbeat sensibility of Ali Smith. . . .Sweet? Yes. Sugarcoated? Perhaps. Saccharine or cloying? Not to me. Hello, Rachel Khong. Kudos for this delectable take on familial devotion and dementia." -NPR"Heartbreaking but also funny. . . .sparkling. . . .illuminating. . . .[Goodbye, Vitamin is] a novel modeled on real life, where humor often rubs shoulders with pathos, and Ruth's gift as a narrator is her ability to observe and record it all." -San Francisco Chronicle"[Goodbye Vitamin is] material for another grueling exploration of loss, and yet, against all odds, Ms. Khong has produced a book that's whimsical and funny. This is because the author, like her guiding spirit, Lorrie Moore, has a love for the ridiculous in the mundane. . .This sweet-natured novel is about Ruth's attempts to come to terms with a past her father can no longer remember while still attending to the quirky, fleeting joys of the present. -The Wall Street Journal"Reading Goodbye, Vitamin. . . .is like tasting an entirely new flavor. At once gut-wrenching and deeply soothing." -Oprah.com, "2 Compulsively Readable Novels""Engaging and humorous and deeply touching. . . Khong has created something special." -The Charlotte Observer"In her tender, well-paced debut novel. . . .Khong writes heartbreaking family drama with ?charm, perfect prose, and deadpan humor."-Booklist, starred review"Goodbye, Vitamin is one of those rare books that is both devastating and light-hearted, heartfelt and joyful, making it a perfect and unique summer read. Don't miss it."-Isaac Fitzgerald, BuzzFeed"Tender yet funny in turns, Goodbye, Vitamin offers poignant insight into family, memory, marriage, parenthood, love, and loss."-Jarry Lee, BuzzFeed"A darkly funny debut novel about love, loss, and heartbreak."-PopSugar"A good mix of humor and love." -Elle"Tragic and funny." -Entertainment Weekly, "23 Most Anticipated Books of 2017""Incredibly poignant . . . Rachel Khong's first novel sneaks up on you - just like life . . . and heartbreak. And love."-Miranda July"The novel Goodbye,Vitamin builds with humor, with gusto and with such deceptive lightness that the reader wonders, at its devastating end, how in the world the debut author Rachel Khong managed to pull it off so beautifully. The only possible answer is this, that Khong is a magician, and that we are lucky to fall under her spell at the beginning of her brilliant writing life." -Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies"Half stand-up comic, half a seismographer of the human heart, Khong writes with vulnerability and penetrating insight, and with a gentle humor that moves you not only to care for her characters, but also to care more fervently for the people in your life."-Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine"Rachel Khong's Goodbye, Vitamin is one of the funniest elegiac novels I have ever read, and also one of the gutsiest. It is about so many things-Alzheimer's, fast food, turning thirty, marriage, Southern California, the digestive habits of jelly fish, the invention of the intermittent windshield wiper-and at the same time it is about only one thing, the really important thing, the imperative, as E. M. Forster long ago urged, to connect. Rarely has gravitas been handled with such lightness of touch, or a sad story told so happily." -David Leavitt, author of The Indian Clerk and The Lost Language of Cranes"Hard-ball, laconic, severely, even frighteningly, intimate. To boot, a current of food runs through it, a sophisticated but not snobbish celebration of the empiric integrity of all food. The color of Fanta! You will emerge wanting to take a good snifferoo of a fresh hot cut radish, to study the underside of a saltine, and in the face of depression to be a better and perkier person than you are. This book does it all." -Padgett Powell, author of Cries for Help, Various and Edisto"Equal parts clever and tender, Khong's [Goodbye,] Vitamin is a moving meditation on what it means to patient, forgiving, and human." -Karolina Waclawiak, author of The Invaders and How to Get into the Twin Palms"I don't know how she did it, but Rachel Khong has breathed fresh life into the slacker comedy, the family drama, and the campus novel-in wry, swift, spiky, heartfelt prose that is a joy to read. I have enormous admiration for Goodbye, Vitamin, but more than that, I enjoyed the hell out of reading it."-Justin Taylor, author of Flings