A Legend of Good Men by David Vann - Read Online
A Legend of Good Men
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In semiautobiographical stories set largely in David Vann's native Alaska, Legend of a Suicide follows Roy Fenn from his birth on an island at the edge of the Bering Sea to his return thirty years later to confront the turbulent emotions and complex legacy of his father's suicide.

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780062002099
List price: $1.99
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A Legend of Good Men - David Vann

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David Vann

A Legend of Good Men

A Story from Legends of a Suicide

For my father,




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I ONCE STOOD in a grove of trees along one end of a lake and heard a hundred tiny pellets tap through the leaves around me like rain, so gently I could have caught one on my tongue. Then the boom over the water, John’s cry, my mother’s cry, and their arms waving. I spread my hands and waited for another. The air had so thinned out there seemed to be no distance, as if all things—the leaves, a waterline, red flannel, fields, and horizon—could be plucked by my own two fingers. The whine and squeak of mallards’ wings grew stronger, then fainter. Though I wasn’t hit, I stumbled backward in a half circle, made sure I was in full view of my running mother, and toppled into the mud. This was the first time I knew gunshot from the other end.

John Laine had not meant to shoot