This blog was featured on 07/02/2018
July Guest Editor: Rachel Khong
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
16 days ago
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
16 days ago

This month our guest editor is the wonderful Rachel Khong whose big hit last year, Goodbye, Vitamin, is releasing in paperback this month! We're excited to have her featured during July and will get the opportunity to read an excerpt of her book, get to know her better through an exclusive She Writes author interview and gain some words of wisdom with her forthcoming guest post. Make sure you follow along all month as we get to know Rachel.

About Rachel

Rachel is a writer living in the Bay Area. Goodbye, Vitamin is her debut novel. In an interview with Vogue, she talked about her path to publishing her book that was years in the making. 

This book was years and years in the making. Can you tell me a little about the path to publishing it?

I started writing, I think, in 2010, a few years after I graduated from college. In college I was always writing short stories, and a lot of things in the third person. First person always felt kind of gross and crazy to me. I dread getting those questions about whether or not this was autobiographical. It’s easy to conflate a first-person narrator with the author. Then in 2010 I wrote a short story with Ruth, the narrator of the book. It was a completely different situation. She had the same job, she lived in San Francisco, but it was about her dating an alcoholic fisherman. I really loved writing in her voice, and I just wanted to hang out longer with this person. 

[...]

I wrote a draft and submitted it as my M.F.A. thesis. Back then it was called Hello, Vitamin. It maybe had the same beginning and end, but the middle looks pretty different now. It was really spread out, the process of revising it, too. In that span of time a lot of things in my life changed. I moved from Florida to San Francisco. I worked in restaurants for a little bit, and then I got a job at Lucky Peach. I put the book away for maybe two years. That was fine in the end. I think that part of finishing the book for me was really just getting older, having more time to think about what I was trying to write. It was also useful to keep feeling, year after year, like a failure at finishing this book. I think that got woven into the book itself. It’s partly a book about feeling like a failure. Having those years to feel that way was helpful.

About Goodbye, Vitamin

In a book that explores the power of memory, Ruth has fled her home and quits her job after her fiancé leaves her for another woman. Thirty and living with her parents, she's thrown into her father's battle with Alzheimer’s and her mothers struggle to cope. The swirl of the chaos at home brings Ruth face to face with loss, love and the imossible task of finding certainty in an uncertain world. 

"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

Make sure you grab Goodbye, Vitamin in paperback July 10 as the perfect summer beach read. 

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