Vendela Vida’s fearless, critically acclaimed fiction debut follows the unpredictable recovery of a young woman as she tries to make sense of her life after an encounter at gunpoint.
Accosted one afternoon in Riverside Park by a man who doesn't want to die alone, Ellis, a young grad student, talks her way out of the situation by reciting poetry to her desperate captor. He lets her go, but is she free? Rejecting the overtures of her kind-hearted boyfriend, the police, and the suitors who would like to save her, Ellis finds herself unable to escape the event. She leaves the city to visit her family; joins her mother on a medical mission to the Philippines. When she returns, Ellis discovers something more about life–perhaps even how to take back her own.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of History eBook: And Now You Can Go|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||And Now You Can Go|
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And Now You Can Go
Chapter OneWhat Happens When These Things Happen
It was 2:15 in the afternoon of December 2 when a man holding a gun approached me in Riverside Park. I know this because, five minutes before, a mother pushing a sleeping girl in a blue stroller had asked me for the time.
I was twenty-one and had moved to New York that September, knowing no one, and my days were the meekly sunlit rooms of a vacant house. I spent my afternoons in Riverside Park, across the street from my apartment. The trees were tall, and, by December, without birds. In my mind, the story is always in the present, always starting at 2:15. I'm walking along the park's promenade when a man behind me says, "Ma'am?"
I turn around, guessing he needs directions, or that I've dropped a glove. Who would call a young woman ma'am? The man is wearing a black leather jacket, unzipped, and glasses with thin frames. His right hand is tucked into his jacket and he appears to be holding the left side of his waist, like Napoleon. He's large-more wide than tall-and his thick legs step closer. I'm on the promenade and I can hear kids playing with their nannies, with their dogs, and the sound of their laughter is the distance between me and them. I take a step backward, then turn and keep walking in the direction I was before, but faster.
"Ma'am," the voice behind me says. "I have a gun. If you keep walking I'll shoot you. Just do as I say."
I turn back around to face him. I think, I hope, he's joking, until he opens his jacket and shows me the gun in his right hand. I've seen guns before-I've held them in my hands, at a shooting range in Florida, with an old boyfriend before we got orange and lime ice cr...