David Vann as WIR in Amsterdam

5 Aug-20 September 2013

The American author David Vann (1966) has been invited by the Dutch Foundation for Literature and the Amsterdam Fund for the Art to stay in Amsterdam between August 6th and September 19th as a writer in residence.

David Vann was born on Adak Island en spent the first six years of his life - until his parents were divorced - in Ketchikan (Alaska). Afterwards he spent about one third of each year in Alaska to live with his father, who would later commit suicide. As a young man Vann worked as a sailboat-captain for ten years while writing Legend of a Suicide. It took him twelve years to find a publisher for this collection of short stories. Legend of a Suicide has now won 10 prizes, including the Prix Medicis Etranger in France, the Premi Llibreter in Spain, the Grace Paley Prize, a California Book Award, and the L’Express readers’ prize (France). The book was translated into 19 languages, turned into an international bestseller and the story will be filmed by the French-Canadian director Daniel Grou. In 2011 Vann published his successful and award-winning first novel Caribou Island, followed in 2012 by Dirt and in 2013 by Goat Island. He also wrote the non-fiction books A Mile Down: The True Story of a Disastrous Career at Sea (2005) and Last Day on Earth. A Portrait of the NIU School Shooter (2011). Vann writes for magazines such as The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire and Outside and is teaching creative writing at the University of San Francisco.

Vann’s work has been published in the Low Countries by De Bezige Bij. Dutch translations (by Arjaan van Nimweegen) include Legende van een zelfmoord (Legend of a Suicide), Caribou Island and Aarde (Dirt). The translation of Goat Island is expected fall 2013.

As a writer in residence David Vann will work on his new novel and on a new modern English translation of the Old English epic poem Beowulf. He will also be a guest at:
- Lowlands festival, writer Henk van Straten will interview Vann on Sunday August 18.

- literature night Lamoer in Bitterzoet, Spuistraat 2, Amsterdam on Friday September 6.
- the new Read my world-festival]4 in Amsterdam on Saturday September 14.

Here you will find a video interview by Lezentv with David Vann on Legend of a Suicide (25 min; English).

Orli Austen


Orli Austen

Residency program

[email protected]