paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Grove Press/Atlantic Monthly Press
Bright Air Black
Following the success of Aquarium, which was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and garnered numerous rave reviews, David Vann transports us to the thirteenth century BC 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, realistic 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.
Praise for Bright Air Black:
“Incorporating both mesmerizing sentences and concentrated fragments . . . Sensual and violent, often simultaneously, Vann’s novel evokes the primal force of women’s power.”—Booklist
Published in twenty languages, David Vann's internationally bestselling books have won fifteen prizes, including best foreign novel in France and Spain, and appeared on seventy-five 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.