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From the award-winning author of Legend of a Suicide: “A kind of modern fairy tale . . . Vann’s novels are striking, uncompromising portraits of American life” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
David Vann’s dazzling debut Legend of a Suicide was reviewed in over a 150 major global publications, won eleven prizes worldwide, was on forty “best books of the year” lists, and established its author as a literary master. Now, 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 . . .
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 by 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.
“A blue-collar parable . . . [The character] looks back on her life as a child looks into a tank, hoping to make sense of the world inside—a theme Vann develops beautifully, creating a mysterious realm of the wintry American city.” —The Guardian