It was exciting enough news when he was shortlisted. But today we found out that David Vann, Legend of a Suicide author and good friend to 49 writers, won the Prix Medicis etranger, a prize given to a top non-French author, putting him in good company with past American winners Dave Eggers, Philip Roth, T.C. Boyle, and Paul Auster, among many notable others.
My first thought upon reading the announcement in the Anchorage Daily News: Good thing we had a chance to have David Vann up here for an event and retreat before his star rose even higher.
My second thought: You don't have to be a household name (yet) in America to get major notice in Europe, where expectations about genre and story are quite different. Fascinating, isn't it?
Vann, born on Adak, has a new book, Caribou Island (set on the Kenai Peninsula), coming out in just a few months.