BOOKS: David Vann shares his novel of a broken family

David Vann, a professor at the University of Warwick in England and an honorary professor at the University of Franche-Comté in France, share his latest novel, “Aquarium,” at 7 p.m. Monday, March 16, at Village Books, 1200 11th St.

It’s a riveting story about a 12-year-old girl, Caitlin, who lives alone with her mother—a docker at a container port—in subsidized housing next to an airport in Seattle. Each day, while Caitlin waits to be picked up after school, she visits the local aquarium to study the fish. Gazing at the creatures within the watery depths, she accesses a shimmering universe beyond her own.

When Caitlin befriends an old man at the tanks who seems as enamored of 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.

Vann’s books — “A Mile Down;” “Legend of a Suicide;” “Caribou Island;” “Last Day on Earth;” “Dirt,” and “Goat Mountain” — have won critical acclaim and been published in 20 languages. A former Guggenheim fellow, Wallace Stegner fellow, John L’Heureux fellow, and and NEA fellow, he has taught at Stanford, Cornell, and elsewhere, and holds degrees from Stanford and Cornell.

More on the author: davidvann.com.