Vendela Vida (born September 6, 1971) is an American novelist, journalist, editor and educator. She is the author of multiple books, a writing teacher, and an editor of The Believer magazine. In 2017, Vida was a Lurie Author-in-Residence and instructor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at San Jose State University. She is married to author Dave Eggers, has two children, and lives in the Bay Area.
Vida was born on the 6 September 1971 in San Francisco, California. Both of her parents were European immigrants. Her mother was from Sweden, and she inherited the name Vendela from her maternal grandmother. She left California to get her Bachelor's degree in English in 1993 at Middlebury College in Vermont, and it was through a mutual friend from her undergraduate degree that she met her future spouse, Dave Eggers. She later continued her studies and received a Master of Fine Arts degree at Columbia University. After graduating, she interned at the Paris Review, and she adapted her master's degree thesis into her first book, Girls on the Verge.
Published in 2003, And Now You Can Go is a novel set in New York City, San Francisco, and the Philippines, tracing the impulsive journeys of a young woman in the wake of an assault. In a 2003 Guardian article Vida voiced her plan to author a trilogy of novels "on the subject of violence and rage."
The second novel, Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, takes place in Lapland and was published in 2007. As a fellow at the Sundance Labs, Vida developed it into a script, which received the Sundance Institute/Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award.
The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty was inspired by a trip Vida took to Morocco where her bag was stolen.
Two of Vida’s novels have been New York Times Notable Books of the year, and she is the winner of the Kate Chopin Award, given to a writer whose female protagonist chooses an unconventional path.
"Vendela Vida" is also the name of a 2010 song by indie/folk rock band Dinosaur Feathers on their album Fantasy Memorial.
- Eggers, Dave; Vida, Vendela (2009), Away We Go: A Screenplay, Vintage Books, ISBN 978-0-307-47588-6
- Julavits, Heidi; Park, Ed; Vida, Vendela (2009), Read Hard: Five Years of Great Writing from the Believer, McSweeney's, ISBN 978-1-934781-39-5
- Vida, Vendela (2000), Girls on the Verge: Debutante Dips, Drive-Bys, and Other Initiations (revised ed.), St. Martin's Press, ISBN 978-0-312-26328-7
- Vida, Vendela (2003), And Now You Can Go (reprint ed.), Paw Prints, ISBN 978-1-4395-7338-9
- Vida, Vendela (2008), Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name: A Novel (reprint ed.), HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0-06-082838-7
- Vida, Vendela (2008), The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers (revised ed.), McSweeney's, ISBN 978-1-932416-94-7
- Vida, Vendela (2010), The Lovers: A Novel, HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0-06-082839-4
- Vida, Vendela (2015), The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty, Ecco/HarperCollins, ISBN 9780062110916
- Vida, Vendela (2021), We Run the Tides, Ecco/HarperCollins, ISBN 9780062936233
- Harper Collins, Author Profile, harpercollins.com; accessed December 18, 2016.
- "Lurie Visiting Authors, Department of English and Comparative Literature". San Jose State University (SJSU). Retrieved 2019-04-30.
- Sarah Crown, A life in writing: Vendela Vida profile, The Guardian, July 8, 2011.
- Baker, Aylie (April 10, 2007). "Just a couple of staggering geniuses". The Middlebury Campus. Retrieved 2019-04-30.
Eggers met his wife Vendela Vida ’93 through a mutual friend who also attended the College. Vida, an English major graduating Phi Beta Kappa, dabbled in several disciplines, including theatre and Italian.
- Crown, Sarah (2011-07-08). "A life in writing: Vendela Vida". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-04-30.
Girls on the Verge, which spun out of Vida's Columbia MFA thesis, is an intriguing exploration of female coming-of-age rituals in America, written when Vida was in her early 20s, only just emerging from the hinterland of fake IDs and underage drinking herself.
- Walker, Tiana. "Vendela Vida, SJSU's Lurie Author-in-Residence". SJSU News. Retrieved 2019-04-30.
She began as a tutor during her undergraduate years at Middlebury College in Vermont, as well as during her time in graduate school at Columbia University.
- Robert Birnbaum, Author Interview: Vendela Vida, identitytheory.com, November 2, 2003.
- Julian Guthrie, "Vendela Vida wraps trilogy on women in crisis," The San Francisco Chronicle, July 6, 2010.
- Duncan Campbell, "What Do They Mean? Duncan Campbell Meets Vendela Vida", The Guardian, September 23, 2003.
- Alex Clark, Vendela Vida: "You write to know you’re not alone in the world", The Guardian, 27 September 27, 2015.
- Author Bio, Book Launch: The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty by Vendela Vida, The Powerhouse Arena, June 9, 2015
- Nathan Englander, "Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida," Interview Magazine (May 2009).
- Sarah Crown, "A life in writing: Vendela Vida," The Guardian, July 8, 2011.