Middlebury

 

Spring Student Symposium Keynote Speaker

For 2014 is Writer and Activist, Vendela Vida '93

Vida
 (photo credit Chloe Aftel)

Vendela Vida was born and raised in San Francisco. She attended Middlebury College where she majored in English and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After graduating from Middlebury in 1993 she moved to New York where she worked at The Paris Review and received her MFA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of the Arts. She is the author of the non-fiction book, Girls on the Verge, which grew out of her graduate thesis at Columbia, and the novels And Now You Can Go, Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, and The Lovers. And Now You Can Go and Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name were named both named Notable Books of the Year by the New York Times. Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name was awarded the Kate Chopin Award, which is given to a writer who creates a female character who chooses an unconventional path.

Vida is also a founding co-editor of The Believer magazine and the editor of The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers; she’s the coeditor of Always Apprentices, a collection of interviews with writers, and Confidence, or The Appearance of Confidence, a collection of interviews with musicians. She is a founding board member of 826 Valencia, a non-profit writing center based in San Francisco.

Vida co-wrote the screenplay for the 2009 film Away We Go, which was directed by Sam Mendes, and is currently working with the director Eva Weber on the film adaptation of Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two children, and is completing her next book, which is based on a “Lives” column she wrote for The New York Times Magazine.