Best-selling author David Vann to visit OSU on Jan. 21


CORVALLIS, Ore. – International best-selling author David Vann, whose writing spans wilderness experience and domestic drama, will read from his just-released novel, “Caribou Island,” on Friday, Jan. 21, at Oregon State University.

The reading, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7:30 p.m. in The Valley Library’s main rotunda. A book signing will follow.

“Caribou Island” is set in the beautiful, yet treacherous wilds of Alaska and tells the story of a husband and wife whose bitter love, failed dreams, and tragic past push them to the edge of destruction. An early review of this highly anticipated first novel praised Vann, noting that his “brilliance lies in his willingness to expose all.”

The author’s portraits of families and wilderness have earned him critical praise, a worldwide readership, and comparisons to Ernest Hemingway and Cormac McCarthy.

Vann’s previous book, “Legend of a Suicide,” won the Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ Grace Paley Prize for short fiction, and was translated into nine languages and was a national best-seller in France.

His memoir, “A Mile Down: the True Story of a Disastrous Career at Sea,” made the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post bestseller lists. His book on the Northern Illinois University school shooting, “Last Day On Earth,” is due out fall 2011.

Born on Adak Island, Vann spent his early childhood in Ketchican, and continued to spend summers in Alaska after his family relocated to California. He received a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Cornell University, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. He teaches at the University of San Francisco, and writes frequently for Esquire, Outside, and the New York Times.

Vann’s reading is part of the OSU English Department’s 2010-11 Visiting Writers Series, and is sponsored by The Valley Library, the OSU Department of English, the College of Liberal Arts, The Office of the Provost, Tim Steele and Kathy Brisker, and the OSU Bookstore.