• Paperback: 272 pages
• Publisher: Harper Perennial (March 16, 2010)
In Legend of a Suicide, his heartbreaking semi-autobiographical debut story-collection, David Vann relates the story of a young man trying to come to terms with the guilt and pain of his father’s suicide. The wild outback of the author’s native Alaska acts as the ideal backdrop for this collage of six stories—a novella and five shorts—and mirrors the author’s own psychological wilderness. From “an important new voice in American literature” (Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain) comes an unforgettable exploration of the tragic gaps between one boy and his father.
Legend of a Suicide was chosen by Lorrie Moore for The New Yorker Book Club selection. Lorrie Moore’s description of the book is quite intriguing: “In his stunning novel-in-stories, “Legend of a Suicide,” his father’s early death is announced right on the dedication page and its cause, in case the dedication page plus the title don’t sufficiently clue you in, is spelled out as a suicide in the acknowledgments at the book’s close. But what the book itself becomes is a fantasia imagined from this fact. Different points of view are explored; settings shift slightly; minor characters later become major; major keys suddenly go minor. All the while the central fact remains.”
You can also read the Q&A done by The New Yorker.
David Vann is a professor at the University of San Francisco. He is a contributor to Esquire, The Atlantic, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, The Sunday Times (London), and Outside, and the author of the bestselling memoir A Mile Down: The True Story of a Disastrous Career at Sea and Last Day on Earth: A Portrait of the NIU School Shooter, Steve Kazmierczak, winner of the AWP Nonfiction Prize. He is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and Wallace Stegner Fellowship.
Connect with David on his website.
David Vann is happy to do live or email interviews or original posts for your blog. You can read a sample interview on dovegreyreader.com.
David Vann’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Tuesday, May 11th: Book Magic
Thursday, May 13th: 1330v
Friday, May 14th: Regular Rumination
Monday, May 17th: My Reading Room
Wednesday, May 19th: Books Like Breathing
Tuesday, May 25th: Book Chatter
Wenesday, May 26th: Steph and Tony Investigate
Thursday, May 27th: Literate Housewife
Monday, May 31st: Nonsuch Book
Tuesday, June 1st: Hungry Like the Woolf
Thursday, June 3rd: Urban Green Farm