‘Last Day on Earth’ a portrait of 2008 NIU tragedy
Last Day on Earth explores the events of Valentine’s Day 2008, in which Steve Kazmierczak killed five and wounded 18 at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, and then killed himself.
Media reports turned up very little about Kazmierczak, who was then an A student and a Dean’s List recipient. But David Vann, investigating for Esquire, found much in the police files and in Kazmierczak’s past to indicate a life molded and ready for mass murder.
Vann also weaves in his own history with guns, contemplating the ingredients for a school shooting.
Haunting and realistic, this book is a compelling portrait of tragedy and the most complete study of any school gunman. The book was selected by Lee Gutkind as the winner of the Associated Writers and Writing Programs Award for Creative Nonfiction.
Vann is the internationally bestselling author of Caribou Island, A Mile Down and Legend of a Suicide. He has been published in 17 languages and is the winner of prizes such as France’s Prix Médicis for best foreign novel, and has been recognized by the New Yorker Book Club, The Times Book Club, BBC’s Book at Bedtime, and more than 40 “best books of the year” lists worldwide.
Currently a Guggenheim Fellow, Vann has also been a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow and a Wallace Stegner Fellow. He has taught at Stanford, Cornell and Florida State University, and is currently an associate professor at the University of San Francisco.
For more details, visit http://www.ugapress.org/index.php/books/last_day_on_earth/ or http://www.davidvann.com.
From the Nov. 23-29, 2011, issue
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