Goodbye, Vitamin

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About The Book

'A beautifully written coming-of-age debut, dreamy and funny ... flawlessIndependent

'Khong is a magician... Brilliant' Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies

‘Khong’s first novel sneaks up on you – just like life, illness and heartbreak. And love. A million small, human and often deeply funny details gather force to tell a tale that is ultimately, incredibly poignant’ Miranda July, author of The First Bad Man

Ruth is thirty and her life is falling apart: she and her fiancé are moving house, but he's moving out to live with another woman; her career is going nowhere; and then she learns that her father, a history professor beloved by his students, has Alzheimer’s. At Christmas, her mother begs her to stay on and help. For a year. Goodbye, Vitamin is the wry, beautifully observed story of a woman at a crossroads, as Ruth and her friends attempt to shore up her father’s career; she and her mother obsess over the ambiguous health benefits – in the absence of a cure – of dried jellyfish supplements and vitamin pills; and they all try to forge a new relationship with the brilliant, childlike, irascible man her father has become.

​'Biting, funny and poignant and makes you wish you’d thought of writing it first' Stylist, '50 Unmissable Books'

'A deceptively complex tale of dementia and its impact on a family … Like a chain of fairy lights in the darkness' Financial Times

'One of the funniest elegiac novels I have ever read' David Leavitt, author of The Lost Language of Cranes

About The Author

Copyright (c) Andria Lo

Rachel Khong studied at Yale and the University of Florida. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in American Short Fiction, The Believer, Pitchfork, Village Voice and Lucky Peach. In 2013, she was named one of Refinery29’s 30 under 30. Goodbye, Vitamin is her first novel.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Scribner UK (June 2017)
  • Length: 208 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781471147234

Raves and Reviews

'Brilliant disquisition on family, relationships and adulthood, 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, New York Review of Books

‘A deceptively complex tale of dementia and its impact on a family… Like a chain of fairy lights in the darkness, with Khong displaying a deep understanding of the way in which memory humanises and connects us individually communally – and without which all becomes chaos’

– Catherine Taylor, Financial Times

'Mostly this sweet-natured novel is about Ruth’s attempts to come to terms with a past her father can no longer remember while still attending to the quirky, fleeting joys of the present. "Here I am, in lieu of you," she writes, "collecting the moments"'

– Sam Sacks, 'Best New Fiction', Wall Street Journal

'A beautifully written coming-of-age debut, dreamy and funny . . . flawless’ 

– Independent

‘Rachel Khong’s Goodbye, Vitamin is the best of these debuts, conversational and light in tone, but heartbreakingly clear-eyed as well … Khong manages to imbue seemingly mundane topics with charm and pathos through her attentive, humorous and personable writing’ 

– Spectator

‘There’s beauty, humour and absurdity in even the most tragic situation as Rachel Khong demonstrates in Goodbye, Vitamin’

– Good Housekeeping

‘Funny and tragic, heart-breaking and life-affirming, it reminds you that in the end, that’s all there is – countless passing moments’ 

– Grazia

‘A tragi-comic story about holding a family together when life wants to break them apart and finding yourself when you thought you were completely lost. I absolutely loved this book’ 


‘Nuanced exploration of family love and remembrance…A contemporary take on the coming-of-age tale…It’s sweet without being saccharine, and moving without feeling depressed.’

– Refinery29

‘A deft, funny and very moving account of all kinds of loss’ 

– The Big Issue

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