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Vida Mass Market Paperback – February 12, 1985


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This epic story is fueled with intense commitment and sensuousness." —Los Angeles Times Book Review



“Very exciting. Marge Piercy's characters are complex and very human.”  —Margaret Atwood



“Real people inhabit its pages and real suspense carries the story along. . . . Vida of course means life and [Piercy] personifies it.”  —Chicago Tribune



“Marge Piercy tells us exactly how it was in the lofts of the Left as the 1960s turned into the 1970s. This is the way everybody sounded. This is the way everybody behaved. Vida bears witness.”  —New York Times

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

"This epic story is fueled with intense commitment and sensuousness."
LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Vida was their star--the beautiful, charismatic radical from the pages of LIFE magazine--the symbol of the passionate rebellion of the sixties. Now, ten years later, the shouting is over, but Vida is still on the run. Staying in Network hideouts, traveling disguised, fearing every glance, she finds her best protection is her distrust of everyone--a lesson learned from past treacheries. And now, knowing the dangers, she finds herself warming again toward a man, an outcast ten years younger than herself.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Fawcett (February 12, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449208508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449208502
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,711,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Tony Thomas on June 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a book I feel ashamed I havent reread in a couple years. Its going into my brief case tommorrow morning to be read furtively at work at lunch, to be devoured again as I have devoured it over and over sinc eI first bought it. I bought this book on a day 21 years ago when I had been turned down for a part time temporary clerical job at a college, a college I now teach at. I didnt know who Marge Piercy was, in fact, I didnt know that if I had called twio or three of my closest friends and comrades they would have told me how I had shared spaces and struggles with Marge, I didnt know I would read in this book about places I had been, or find it modeled after people I had known.
I was broke, unemployed with no unemployment, and looked at two books, the other I forget. Vida was cheaper pennies per page.
Boy am I lucky. Marge's books have kept me going for years, long before I met her, or learned the good things she's done.
This is the innards of what happened in the 1960s, to be sure to people whose politics I don't share, people who in SDS, people who didnt look to the future of the mass struggles but tried individual acts they thought would stimulate the struggle, and then found themselves on the run for decades. However, the human stories, why people resist, why people fight, why people survive, and also how people love both romantically and as comrades in solidarity is shown with candor, realism, and humor.
This book is also a page turner.
Get this book now while its available at reduced prices for used or remaindered books, pennies for page as I did. When young people, working people, women who want freedom, people who want to stop billionaire sponsored wars rise again and fight, this book will be republished, cherished, understood anew. That time is not going to be long.
I am glad I have my Vida to read. Hope you can get 21 years out of uyour copy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Daneman #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a historical novel set in the Seventies, when the Weatherman Underground, a radical, violent arm of the Students For A Democratic Society (SDS) was active in the anti-war, anti-military-industrial complex protests. It follows the story of fugitive Vida Asch as she and her associates from "SAW" (which is the fictionalized SDS) and "The Little Red Wagon Collective (Weathermen) are being hunted down and swept into the judicial system.

Vida is accomplished at avoiding capture, but as the people she worked with and loved are caught and sentenced, one by one, she realizes the huge price she has chosen to pay for her political intent. Vida runs from one from one safe haven to another, cadging cash from supporters, finding a floor or a room to stay, keeping one step ahead of potential stakeouts. Her survival skills are amazing, but cost her dearly in the end as she again has to choose between someone she loves and staying free of the system.

Is this an accurate version of the student activists of the Seventies? I certainly interacted with many of the people who were like Vida's compatriots when I went to university at a large Midwestern school (where, by the way, Piercy was artist in residence right where I was living at the time) and I can verify that the way Piercy paints the life and times is hauntingly accurate. It was a very chaotic but strangely innocent time and this is probably the best historical novel I've read that depicts the insanity of those years when the Vietnam War raged on.

I am a big fan of Piercy's writing. I do not share her political views, though I share the outrage she has with the injustice in the world. She's deeply honest and she doesn't paint any of her characters as totally heroic or flawless.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anon on September 10, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Well, the title character isn't crazy, but the pun was too good to pass up. Vida's life, however, is crazy since she's been on the run for "crimes" committed under the cover of radical activism in the 1960s.

I was moved by how well-imagined the title character and this book are. One does not consider the things that one would have to do or endure to be underground, even here. Vida can't go to a doctor when she needs one, even for mundane things, because she doesn't have health insurance and would need to provide proof of identity. Vida sleeps with people, men and women, (she can't be picky,) because they're providing her with a place to stay. She can't flee the country because she doesn't have a passport. It's heart-wrenching and deeply felt.

Though I don't share the politics that led Vida to her situation, I understand the restless need to *do* *something* in the face of terrible injustice. Vida doesn't get whiney or preachy, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

TK Kenyon
Author of Rabid: A Novel and Callous: A Novel
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ralph M. Hitchens on December 7, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ever wonder how those people live, those who choose the radical path in our society? Marge Piercy tells you -- I can think of few better novels that show how those long-ago radicals moved around and communicated, back in the day. A couple of Gerald Seymour's books come close. I strongly recommend this novel highly to anyone studying today's radical fringe, be it al-Qaeda or the Euro-rads. Those people don't pull off major actions very often, because so much of their time and energy is devoted to keeping themselves and their associates secure.
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