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Work so that you can keep working. It seemed a proposition that could easily end in suicide. I wanted to escape this. I wanted to free myself from the working world and have time to write. And I wanted adventure. Grendel could never free me, but this boat could.
David Vann has loved boats all his life. So when his academic career seems to be stuck in the doldrums, he leaps at the opportunity to start an educational charter business, teaching creative writing workshops aboard a sailboat. But a trip to Turkey sees him dreaming bigger—and before he knows it, he is at the helm of his own ninety-foot boat, running charters along the Turkish coast.
And here his troubles begin. Sinking deep into debt, and encountering everything from a lost rudder to freak storms, Vann is on the verge of losing everything—including his life.
Part high-seas adventure, part journey of self-discovery, A Mile Down is a gripping and unforgettable story of struggle and redemption by a writer at the top of his game.
‘David Vann has created a tale of hubris and endurance that is both exciting and beautifully written.’
‘A Mile Down would be a cautionary tale for anyone who dreams of the freedom of the high seas—if only it wasn’t so damn exciting…’
‘At once memoir, confession, travel book and thriller, David Vann’s A Mile Down is so vivid and intense you will dread to see it end…The book is a testimony of passion and courage in deadly storms and scarier calms, of a man wrestling with his ghosts and gifts in the very shadow of paradise.’
‘A fast-moving story of endurance.’
‘A Mile Down is a gripping story and an incredibly candid character exploration. And Vann writes so well that even the technical details are a joy to read.’
‘Rarely has a memoir combined such raw self-exposure with such ultimately consoling insight.’