Bright Air Black by David Vann
A Novel

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Bright Air Black is a compelling study of human nature stripped to its most elemental, and a vivid addition to the many interpretations of this character, whose complexity shows no sign of losing its allure.
-Guardian

Synopsis

“A writer to read and reread.”—The Economist

Following the success of Aquarium which was a New York Times Editor’s Choice and garnered numerous rave reviews, David Vann transports us to 13th century B.C. to give a nuanced and electric portrait of the life of one of ancient mythology’s most fascinating and notorious women, Medea.

In brilliant poetic prose Bright Air Black brings us aboard the ship Argo for its epic return journey across the Black Sea from Persia’s Colchis—where Medea flees her home and father with Jason, the Argonauts, and the Golden Fleece. Vann’s reimagining of this ancient tale offers a thrilling, realist alternative to the long held notions of Medea as monster or sorceress. We witness with dramatic urgency Medea’s humanity, her Bronze Age roots and position in Greek society, her love affair with Jason, and her tragic demise.

Atmospheric and spellbinding, Bright Air Black is an indispensable, fresh and provocative take on one of our earliest texts and the most intimate and corporal version of Medea’s story ever told.
 

About David Vann

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Published in 20 languages, David Vann’s internationally-bestselling books have won 15 prizes, including best foreign novel in France and Spain, and appeared on 75 Best Books of the Year lists in a dozen countries. A former Guggenheim fellow, he is currently a Professor at the University of Warwick in England and Honorary Professor at the University of Franche-Comté in France.
 
Published March 7, 2017 by Grove Press, Black Cat. 288 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Guardian

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Reviewed by Stephanie Merritt on Apr 02 2017

Bright Air Black is a compelling study of human nature stripped to its most elemental, and a vivid addition to the many interpretations of this character, whose complexity shows no sign of losing its allure.

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