Internationally-recognized and multi-award winning fiction author Ben Fountain graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before attending Duke University School of Law. He now lives in Dallas, Texas.
Fountain’s most recent novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, has been published in fourteen languages. It won the 2013 National Book Critics’ Circle Award for fiction, the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the PEN New England-Cerulli Award for Excellence in Sports Fiction, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, and the Jesse H. Jones Award for Fiction. The novel was also named a “best book of the year” on over twenty lists, including Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly. It was a finalist for the National Book Award. The New York Times bestselling book is being optioned for a feature film by the Ink Factory, Ltd. and is has been made into a feature film with Ang Lee, director of Life of Pi, Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, among other films. Cast members include Steve Martin and Joe Alwyn.
Fountain’s 2006 short story collection, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, was a 2007 winner of the PEN New England-Hemingway Award for Fiction, the Barnes and Noble Discover Award for Fiction, the Whiting Writer’s Award, among other honors. The bestselling collection also garnered widespread praise from a number of reviewers who called it “a masterpiece,” “an impeccable debut collection” and a “tremendous achievement.”
Fountain's fiction has appeared in Harper's magazine, The Paris Review, Zoetrope: All-Story, Esquire, and Stories from the South: The Year's Best, and he has been awarded an O. Henry Prize, two Pushcart Prizes, two Texas Institute of Letters Short Story Awards, and many other honors. He is the former fiction editor of Southwest Review. His nonfiction writing has appeared in The New York Times and The New York Times Magazine, among other publications. His reportage on post-earthquake Haiti was nationally broadcast on the radio show This American Life.
Fountain has taught at the University of Texas at Austin, University of Idaho, and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He recently joined the Texas State University Department of English as the University Endowed Chair in Creative Writing from 2014-2016.
His forthcoming book, Beautiful Country Burn Again, is a book of essays on the 2016 US Election.
Praise for Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
Named one of the 9 best war novels ever written, by We Are The Mighty in March, 2015.
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk named one of the 21st century's 12 greatest novels, according to a BBC poll of book critics in January, 2015.
“Grand, intimate and joyous.” – Geoff Dyer, The New York Times
“Billy Lynn is an exhilarating read, and convincingly – if belatedly – damning of Bush’s America.” – Theo Tait, The Guardian
"A masterful gut-punch of a debut novel." – Jeff Turrentine,
Named on Michiko Kakutani's Reading List of Modern War Stories, The New York Times, December 25, 2014
Praise for Brief Encounters with Che Guevara
“Each of these eight stories is as rich as a novel – high praise when you consider how many of today’s novels could be distilled into a short story. Throughout his book, Fountain makes the strange familiar and the familiar strange, showing the human factor that links seemingly diverse nations. Heartbreaking, absurd, deftly drawn.” – Liesl Schillinger, The New York Times
“A superb debut story collection travels to Colombia, Sierra Leone and the U.S., examining the damage capitalism has wreaked on the world… The writing is literary and earnest, full of foreign languages and settings, and unusual and lovely words… his prose is baroque, patient, precise and wry. It’s also often very funny.” – Tony D’Souza, Salon
“Brief Encounters with Che Guevara is nothing short of a masterpiece.” – Stephen Elliott, The Rumpus
“Beyond the pleasures of Fountain's vivid image-making and fluent storytelling, his collection's great accomplishment is the depth of reality it gives the foreign settings.” – Chris Power, The Guardian