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Vida [Paperback]

Marge Piercy
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

31 May 1984
In the sixties she was a symbol of passionate rebellion. Now Vida is forced to live as a fugitive. Years spent fleeing the FBI and travelling in disguise, and the experience of bitter sexual and political rivalries, threaten to splinter her commitment.

Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (31 May 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140062270
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140062274
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11.4 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,251,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"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 an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vida, Marge Piercy, Kindle edition 21 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Marge Piercy is one of my favourite authors and Vida was as interesting and as cogent as the other books of hers I have read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reading, the real story, nice for the heart 12 Jun 2003
By Tony Thomas - Published on
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!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tutorial on radical underground operational security 7 Dec 2007
By Ralph M. Hitchens - Published on
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical novel of student activists of the 70's 8 Nov 2013
By Joanna Daneman - Published on
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. I had to read this book three times, I was so entranced. In a way, if you weren't there, you probably won't get the full flavor of the times, but for me, it was a dip into my college years and I found this an unforgettable novel.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars La Vida Loca 10 Sep 2006
By TKK - Published on
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
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite books of all time. 25 May 2013
By Karen Spivak - Published on
I first read this book when I was a teenager back in the 80's. It helped give me a lasting interest and understanding of the 60's a decade which I am still faciinated with. The characters are just so real. How they look think and feel is so real. I feel as if I know them and would like some and dislike some. I know I would like and learn from Vida and her sister Natalie. I love how Piercy writes sex scenes. They are so real and not all beautiful and perfect.. Now I am an RN mom of two and I just reread the book. Sorry to say I ignored my family for almost a whole day. Marge piercy you are an incredible writer. Could there ever be a Vida sequel?
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