Sunday, January 15, 2012

David Vann

David Vann's latest novel is Caribou Island.

From his 2010 interview by Matt Scheiner:

WSJ: How did your own life experiences help to shape the narrative of “Caribou Island”?

There were two family stories in the background that were true stories. One right on the opening page is the suicide of my Grandmother’s mother on my mother’s side. It happened in British Columbia and it is unclear how it happened, because there is so much shame around a suicide, she never really talked about it and my mom’s story has shifted over the years. The other true story in the background is the murder-suicide of my stepmother’s parents. My stepmother’s father told his wife that the last 15 years of marriage had been a lie, and he had been having an affair with another woman and was moving on without her. So she killed him before killing herself, and that was always a very disturbing event for me from when I was 12.

All of the characters in “Caribou Island” seem so real and identifiable, especially the frayed relationship between Irene and Gary, the unhappily married couple of 35 years.

It wasn’t until six months after writing the book that I realized that I was Irene in many ways, and that was actually a shock to me. I have this long legacy of suicide in my family like she does, and I have some of the same views of men in my family as she does of Gary. But I also think in some ways that I am Gary, too. This book was the first time that I realized that an author is...[read on]
Visit David Vann's website.