David Vann was born in the Aleutian Islands and spent his childhood in Ketchikan, Alaska. For 12 years, no agent would send out his first book, Legend of a Suicide, so he went to sea and became a captain and boat builder. Legend of a Suicide has now won 10 prizes, including the Prix Medicis Etranger in France for best foreign novel, the Premi Llibreter in Spain for best foreign novel, the Grace Paley Prize, a California Book Award, and the L’Express readers’ prize (France). Published in 22 languages, Legend of a Suicide (2008) is an international bestseller (selling more than 300,000 copies in France) and has also been on 40 Best Books of the Year lists in 11 countries, been selected by the New Yorker Book Club and the Times Book Club, read in full on North German radio, and will be made into a film by French producers Haut et Court. David has also been listed for the Sunday Times Short Story Award, the Story Prize, and others. His novel Caribou Island (2011) is an international bestseller being published in 16 languages, on 25 Best Books of the Year lists in 9 countries, shortlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and will be made into a film by Academy Award-winning director Bill Guttentag.  It was read on the BBC for two weeks, selected by the Samlerens Bogklub in Denmark, and shortlisted for the Prix du Roman Fnac and Prix Lire & Virgin in France and also won several local prizes in France. His novel Dirt (2012), winner of the $50,000 St. Francis College Literary Prize 2013, is being published in 12 languages, was longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, was a finalist for a prize in France, has been on eight Best Books of the Year lists in 5 countries, was a bestseller in France, has had cover features in French and Spanish magazines, and is being made into a film. His novel Goat Mountain, published in September 2013, was one of four finalists for the California Book Award in Fiction 2013, longlisted for the Chautauqua Prize, was a San Francisco Chronicle recommended book of the year, and is being published in 11 languages.  It is being made into a film by director Özcan Alper.  His novel Aquarium, published March 2015, was longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, Kirkus Best Fiction Book of 2015, Indie Next Great Read for March 2015, Amazon Best Book of the Month, Amazon Best Book of the first 6 months of 2015, Observer Most Eagerly Awaited Fiction of 2015, and optioned for film by Rhodri Thomas, producer of Ang Lee’s film Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, with starred reviews in Library Journal, Kirkus, and Booklist, and a full-page New York Times Book Review review by Lydia Millet. His best novel, Bright Air Black (March 2017), had the worst launch he’s ever had in the US, so it figures that would be for the best book.  It was an Amazon best book of the month and had much better launches in the UK, France, Australia and NZ, Netherlands, etc.  It’s being made into a film by director Nick Basile.  His novel Halibut On The Moon was published in the US in March 2019.  It was intended to be framed by short stories, like Legend of a Suicide, but that is found only in the Dutch edition.  It was also published in French, German, and other foreign editions.  His story collection, The Higher Blue, was published in January 2020 in French.  His novel Komodo was published in France in 2021 and Poland in 2022 and is forthcoming in more languages.  He has finished three other novels, The Darkening Land and Woman, Desiring and Pluto.  He is the author of the bestselling memoir A Mile Down: The True Story of a Disastrous Career at Sea (2005),  revised and reissued in Australia and New Zealand in 2014, Last Day On Earth: A Portrait of the NIU School Shooter (2011) (winner of the AWP Nonfiction Prize and a PEN CENTER USA 2012 Literary Awards finalist in Creative Nonfiction, and on the National Book Critics Circle 12 best small press books list of 2011), and a memoir Crocodile: Memoirs from a Mexican Drug-Running Port (2015 in Spanish only).  He has been in documentaries with the BBC, NOVA, National Geographic, CNN, E! Entertainment, and written for the Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Outside, Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, The Sunday Times, The Observer, The Guardian, The Sunday Telegraph, The Financial Times, The New Statesman, Elle UK, Esquire UK, Esquire Russia, National Geographic Adventure, Writer’s Digest, McSweeney’s, and other magazines and newspapers.  A former Guggenheim fellow, Wallace Stegner fellow, John L’Heureux fellow, and NEA fellow, he has taught at Stanford, Cornell, FSU, USF, holds degrees from Stanford and Cornell, and is a retired Professor from the University of Warwick in England and Honorary Professor at the University of Franche-Comté in France.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s