Sunday March 10, 2013
HAILED as a Catch-22 for the modern day, Ben Fountain’s debut novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (reviewed here in August last year) has seen the American author win the US National Book Critics Circle Award.
The story follows Iraq War veteran Billy and his squad mates on a Thanksgiving Day tour back in Texas, at the home of the Dallas Cowboys American football team and in the company of halftime entertainer Beyoncé.
In a review, The New Yorker called it “a minutely observed portrait” and praised Fountain’s “pitch-perfect ear for American talk.” The Huffington Post commended it for “combining blistering, beautiful language with razor-sharp insight.”
The National Book Critics Circle directorate had also selected HHhH by Laurent Binet, The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson (reviewed here in July), Magnificence by Lydia Millet and NW by Zadie Smith as its finalists in the fiction category.
Each had been published in the United States during 2012 and also released worldwide.
Billy Lynn was chosen for its “wise, sharply insightful examination of war, class, and celebrity in America” and, like non-fiction prize winner The Passage Of Power: The Years Of Lyndon Johnson by Robert A. Caro, was nominated for the 2012 National Book Awards. –AFP Relaxnews