The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty
In Vendela Vida's taut and mesmerizing novel of ideas, a women travels to Casablanca, Morocco, on mysterious business. While checking into her hotel, the women is robbed of her wallet and passport all of her money and identification. Though the police investigate, the women senses an undercurrent of complicity between the hotel staff and the authorities she knows she'll never regain her possessions. Stripped of her identity, she feels burdened by the crime yet strangely liberated by her sudden freedom to be anyone she chooses. A chance encounter with a movie producer leads to a job posing as a stand-in for a well-known film star. The star reels her in deeper, though, and soon she's inhabiting the actress's skin off-set too going deeper into the Casablancan night and further from herself. And so continues a strange and breathtaking journey full of unexpected turns, an adventure in which the woman finds herself moving further and further away from the person she once was. Told with vibrant, lush detail and a wicked sense of humor, The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty is part literary mystery, part psychological thriller an unforgettable novel that explores free will, power, and a woman's right to choose not her past, perhaps her present, but certainly her future. This is Vendela Vida's most assured and ambitious novel yet.