Aquarium (Hardcover)

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This writer is known for his dark, harsh stories.  But in this new novel, he finds a way to show the darkness, and still leave us with a glimmer of light.  The story is told through twelve year old Caitlin, a precocious girl living in Seattle with her blue collar mother.  After school every day, Caitlin waits at the aquarium for her mother to get off work.  One day an older man befriends her and this opens up a huge spiral of dark secrets, terrifying consequences, and extremely sad stories that throw Caitlin's life into total chaos. Vann creates an enormous amount of tension and does it with detailed imagery and stark, beautiful prose.  I had no idea how he was going to end this passion play, but he did it with precision and believability.  It was a great read

— From Staff Recommendations


"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.

About the Author

Published in 20 languages, David Vann's internationally-bestselling books have won 15 prizes, including best foreign novel in France and Spain, and appeared on 75 Best Books of the Year lists in a dozen countries. A former Guggenheim fellow, he is currently a Professor at the University of Warwick in England and Honorary Professor at the University of Franche-Comte in France.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780802123527
ISBN-10: 080212352X
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2015
Pages: 272
Language: English