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Aquarium
by David Vann


Overview - " Like Melville, Faulkner, and McCarthy, Vann is already one of the great ones of American literature."--ABC(Spain)

"Vann's prose is as pure as a gulp of water from an Alaskan stream."-- Financial Times

David Vann's dazzling debut Legend of a Suicide was reviewed in over a 150 major global publications, won 11 prizes worldwide, was on 40 "best books of the year" lists, and established its author as a literary master.  Read more...


 
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More About Aquarium by David Vann
 
 
 
Overview
"Like Melville, Faulkner, and McCarthy, Vann is already one of the great ones of American literature."--ABC(Spain)

"Vann's prose is as pure as a gulp of water from an Alaskan stream."--Financial Times

David Vann's dazzling debut Legend of a Suicide was reviewed in over a 150 major global publications, won 11 prizes worldwide, was on 40 "best books of the year" lists, and established its author as a literary master. Since then, Vann has delivered an exceptional body of work, receiving, among others, best foreign novel in France and Spain (France's Prix Medicis Etranger, Spain's Premi Llibreter), a California Book Award, and the mid-career St. Francis College Literary Prize. Aquarium, his implosive new book and first to be published by Grove, will take Vann to a wider audience than ever before.

Twelve year old Caitlin lives alone with her mother--a docker at the local container port--in subsidized housing next to an airport in Seattle. Each day, while she waits to be picked up after school, Caitlin visits the local aquarium to study the fish. Gazing at the creatures within the watery depths, Caitlin accesses a shimmering universe beyond her own. When she befriends an old man at the tanks one day, who seems as enamored of the fish as she, Caitlin cracks open a dark family secret and propels her once-blissful relationship with her mother toward a precipice of terrifying consequence.

In crystalline, chiseled yet graceful prose, Aquarium takes us into the heart of a brave young girl whose longing for love and capacity for forgiveness transforms the damaged people around her. Relentless and heartbreaking, primal and redemptive, Aquarium is a transporting story from one of the best American writers of our time.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780802123527
  • ISBN-10: 080212352X
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Publish Date: March 2015
  • Page Count: 272
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.27 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-01-12
  • Reviewer: Staff

Vann’s (Legend of a Suicide) elegantly written, emotionally intense novel juxtaposes the contained world of undersea creatures with the life of a family forced beyond its self-protective isolation. In 1994, 12-year-old Caitlin Thompson and her sole parent, Sheri, live in Seattle, where Sheri works at the docks. After school closes each day, Caitlin waits for her mother at the Seattle Aquarium, studying the bizarre fish she loves. When she meets an elderly man there, a friendship develops. Suspicious, Sheri engineers an encounter with the man, only to realize that he is her father; when Sheri was 14, he left her alone to care for her dying mother. Caitlin embraces the warmer, less-constricted life her grandfather offers, but Sheri refuses to forgive, going to monstrous lengths to show her daughter the humiliations she suffered after her father’s abandonment. The conflict between mother and daughter deepens as Caitlin forms another tender new bond, this one with her schoolmate Shalini. Though Sheri’s toxic blame of her father feels improbably extreme at times, it’s more than made up for by Caitlin’s emotional depth and nimble imagination. Through her wise and dreamy vision, Vann crafts a moving exploration of the boundaries we draw around ourselves to stay safe and unchanged. (Mar.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews