One of the devices that Vida uses is writing in second person (“You try not to run as you make your way across the lobby and up the elevator to your room. You place the backpack–the evidence–inside your suitcase and throw your clothes and toiletries on top.”).
In an interview Vida has said, “I didn’t want the female character to have a name or be an I or a She. Instead I wanted to put the reader immediately in the protagonist’s shoes. That’s why it’s you.” (Source: http://www.Interview Magazine.com/culture/vendela–vida) But I wonder how readers feel about this? Second-person narratives aren’t common, but did it fit this author’s purpose? How so? What is the effect? Did the second-person prose make it easier or more difficult to identify with the narrator? How did the use of the second-person narration change the perception of what was going on in the novel? Or did it?
Vida also brings up some interesting thoughts as to the nature of identity, and exactly what that means to each of us. Are we in fact the Facebook page that we present to others, or are we more the internal thoughts that we keep private? The narrator finds identity to be porous and changeable, so is she suggesting that identity is simply a performance? Would it be liberating, or just terrifying to suddenly have the ability to assume another identity?
Till the next time…
There are still some copies of the book available at Jericho Library . Hope to see you there!