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Ben Fountain

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Ben Fountain
Fountain at the 2018 Texas Book Festival
Fountain at the 2018 Texas Book Festival
Born1958 (age 65–66)
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, U.S.
EducationUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (BA)
Duke University School of Law (JD)
Sharon Monahan
(m. 1985)

Ben Fountain (born 1958) is an American writer currently living in Dallas, Texas. He has won many awards including a PEN/Hemingway Award for Brief Encounters with Che Guevara: Stories (2007) and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction for his debut novel Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2012).

Early life


Fountain was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He grew up in Elizabeth City, a tobacco town in eastern North Carolina. His family moved to Cary, near Raleigh, when he was 13. Fountain earned a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1980, and a J.D. degree from the Duke University School of Law in 1983.[1] After a brief stint practicing real estate law at Akin Gump in Dallas, Fountain quit law in 1988 to become a full-time fiction writer.[2]

Writing career


While collecting articles about things he was interested in, Fountain was riveted by Haiti, regarding it "like a laboratory, almost ... Everything that’s gone on in the last five hundred years—colonialism, race, power, politics, ecological disasters — it’s all there in very concentrated form. And also I just felt, viscerally, pretty comfortable there." Speaking little French, let alone Haitian Creole, he went for his first trip abroad there in 1991 and at least thirty more times. From this came four of the best regarded stories in his 2006 breakthrough collection of short stories: Brief Encounters With Che Guevara when Fountain was forty-eight.[2][3] He has won numerous awards and inclusion of his work in New Stories from the South: The Year's Best (2006).[4][5]

Fountain's debut novel, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, was released in early May 2012.[4][5] Ang Lee directed a film adaptation, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk,[6][7] which began filming in 2015 and was released in November 2016.

Personal life


Fountain married Sharon (née Monahan), an attorney, in 1985; they met when both were students at Duke University School of Law. They have two children.[8]

Awards and honors





  • Brief Encounters with Che Guevara (Ecco, 2006, ISBN 0060885580)
  • Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (Ecco, 2012, ISBN 9780060885595)
  • Beautiful Country Burn Again (Ecco, 2018, ISBN 9780062688842)
  • Devil Makes Three (Flatiron, 2023)

Short fiction



  1. ^ "Ben Fountain," Barnes & Noble biography
  2. ^ a b Malcolm Gladwell (October 20, 2008). "Late Bloomers. Why do we equate genius with precocity?". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  3. ^ Gladwell, Malcolm (2009) What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures. Little, Brown & Co. New York, pp. 295−297.
  4. ^ a b "Ben Fountain interview". Texas Monthly. February 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-08-29.
  5. ^ a b "Ask the Author". D Magazine. February 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-07-10.
  6. ^ Child, Ben (November 14, 2012). "Slumdog Millionaire writer adapts Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk". The Guardian. London.
  7. ^ "Oscar-Winner Ang Lee Will Direct Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk". September 18, 2014. Archived from the original on October 12, 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  8. ^ Malcolm Gladwell (20 October 2008). "Late Bloomers". The New Yorker.
  9. ^ a b "Texas Institute of Letters Awards" (PDF). Texas Institute of Letters. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-20. Retrieved 2013-05-25.
  10. ^ Henderson, Bill, ed. (2004). The Pushcart Prize XXVIII: Best of the Small Presses, 2004 Edition. Pushcart Press.
  11. ^ "The Pen/O. Henry Prize Stories: Past Winners List". Randomhouse.com. Retrieved 2013-05-25.
  12. ^ a b "Ben Fountain: About the Author". HarperCollins. Retrieved 2013-05-25.
  13. ^ Merschel, Michael (October 25, 2007). "Dallas Author Ben Fountain Wins Whiting Award". Dallas Morning News.
  14. ^ "National Book Award Finalists Announced Today". Library Journal. October 10, 2012. Archived from the original on December 6, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  15. ^ "International Author of the Year". National Book Awards 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-04-21. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
  16. ^ "Ben Fountain | National Book Awards 2012". Archived from the original on 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
  17. ^ J.K. Rowling. "Best Fiction 2012 – Goodreads Choice Awards". Goodreads.
  18. ^ [1][dead link]
  19. ^ "National Book Critics Awards Winners". Huffington Post. February 28, 2013.
  20. ^ Ryan, Harriet (April 19, 2013). "War, and a warning, at L.A. Times book awards". Los Angeles Times.
  21. ^ "Book Prizes – Los Angeles Times Festival of Books Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2015-08-02. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  22. ^ Meredith Moss (September 24, 2013). "2013 Dayton Literary Peace Prize winners announced". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  23. ^ Ron Charles (May 15, 2013). "Timothy Egan wins Chautauqua Prize for "Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher"". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 26, 2013.