When Ruth is visiting her parents for Christmas, her mother asks her to stay for a year to help care for her father, who is starting to suffer the debilitating effects of Alzheimer's. Meanwhile, Ruth is trying to find her own footing, after her fiancée left her for another woman. Goodbye, Vitamin is narrated by Ruth in short diary-like entries that are often very funny, but by the end of the book these vignettes add up to a moving chronicle of familial love, as Ruth finds meaning and connection some unexpected places. This debut novel sneaks up on you and may have you laughing out loud and then bring you to tears on the same page!
Rachel Khong was the managing editor then executive editor of Lucky Peach magazine from 2011 to 2016. Goodbye, Vitamin is her first novel.— From Mark B.
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 fianc 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.