David Vann was born in the Aleutian Islands and spent his childhood in Ketchikan, Alaska. For twelve 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 ten 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). Translated into eighteen languages, Legend of a Suicide is an international bestseller and has also been on forty Best Books of the Year lists in eleven 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 Chris Meloni. David has also been listed for the Sunday Times Short Story Award, the Story Prize, and others. His novel Caribou Island is also an international bestseller that has been translated into eighteen languages, was included on twenty-five best-books-of-the-year lists in nine countries, shortlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, and will be made into a film by 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 new novel, Dirt (which was his Guggenheim fellowship project), was published by HarperCollins April 24, 2012. He is 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, winner of the AWP Nonfiction Prize. His forthcoming novel, Goat Mountain, also written during his Guggenheim fellowship, will be published by HarperCollins late 2013 or early 2014. 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, Elle UK, Esquire UK, Esquire Russia, National Geographic Adventure, Writer’s Digest, McSweeney's, and other magazines and newspapers. A current Guggenheim fellow and former Wallace Stegner fellow, John L'Heureux fellow, and NEA fellow, he has taught at Stanford, Cornell, FSU, USF, and is currently a Professor at the University of Warwick in England.
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