Excerpt from Aquarium by David Vann, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Aquarium

by David Vann

Aquarium by David Vann X
Aquarium by David Vann
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2015, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2016, 272 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Rory L. Aronsky
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Print Excerpt

I found him at the darkest tank, in a corner, alone, peering into what could have been a window to the stars, endless black and cold and only a few points of light. Hung in this void like a small constellation, the ghost pipefish, impossible.

Like a leaf giving birth to stars, I said, whispering, as if any sound might make the fish vanish.

Yes, the old man whispered back. Exactly that. I couldn't have said it better myself. Sometimes Ican't believe you're only twelve. You should become an ichthyologist. This is who you are.

Body of small green leaves, veined, very thin, its fins painted in light cast from elsewhere, but from his eye out his long snout, an eruption of galaxies without foreign source, born in the fish itself. An opening in the small fabric of the world, a place to fall into endlessly.

He's my favorite fish, I said, still whispering. I ask everyone what their favorite fish is, and I always hope they'll say the ghost pipefish.

Well he's my favorite now, because of what you've said. The old man looked up at the signs above the tank. Randall Halimeda Ghostpipefish.

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Excerpted from Aquarium by David Vann. Copyright © 2015 by David Vann. Excerpted by permission of Atlantic Monthly Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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