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Legend in the making: signed David Vann books


caribou-islandDavid Vann’s star is rising. The San Francisco-based author, who is really from Alaska, continues to be described as one of America’s brightest writing talents after a handful of books. Signed copies of his books are now shifting very quickly off the digital bookshelves of AbeBooks.

His just-released novel is called Caribou Island, set in Alaska, and it follows the mainly autobiographical Legend of a Suicide from 2008, which apparently sold well in the UK and France. Legend of a Suicide hails from a rather grim legacy. Vann’s father killed himself with a gun while talking on the telephone to his second wife. Shortly before the suicide, Vann’s father had asked his son if he would spend a year with him in an Alaskan wilderness cabin. The author, then a high school teenager, said no. In Legend of a Suicide, Vann imagines what would have happened if he had said yes – a very personal alternative reality.

The Times Literary Supplement describes comparisons to Cormac McCarthy as “fully justified.” The New York Times ran a major profile of him in mid-January, penned by Charles McGrath. No-one has a bad word to say about his writing and he seems to have won over the world’s major book reviewers.

I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about Vann as the year goes on.

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Richard Davies

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