A novel by Marge Piercy
First published in 1979, Vida is Marge Piercy's classic bookend to the sixties. Vida is full of the pleasures and pains, the experiments, disasters and victories of an extraordinary band of people.
At the centre of the novel stands Vida Asch. She has lived underground for almost a decade. Back in the '60s she was a political star of the exuberant anti-war movement - a red-haired beauty photographed for the pages of Life Magazine - charismatic, passionate and totally sure she would prevail.
Now, a decade later, Vida is on the run, her star-quality replaced by stubborn courage. She comes briefly to rest in a safe house on Cape Cod. To her surprise and annoyance, she finds another person in the house, a fugitive, Joel, ten years younger than she, a kid who dropped into the underground out of the army. As they spend the next days together, Vida finds herself warming toward a man for the first time in years, knowing all too well the dangers.
As counterpoint to the underground '70s, Marge Piercy tells the extraordinary tale of the optimistic '60s, the thousands of people who were members of SAW (Students Against the War) and of the handful who formed a fierce group called the Little Red Wagon. Piercy's characters make vivid and comprehensible the desperation, the courage, and the blind rage of a time when 'action' could appear to some to be a more rational choice than the vote.
'Real people inhabit its pages and real suspense carries the story along ... "Vida" of course means life and she personifies it.'
The Chicago Tribune
'A fully controlled, tightly structured dramatic narrative of such artful intensity that it leads the reader on at almost every page.'
The New York Times Book Review
'Very exciting. Marge Piercy's characters are complex and very human.'
416 pages, paperback
Available January 2012