Ben Fountain is the author of Brief Encounters with Che Guevara. He has received the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Barnes & Noble Discover Award for Fiction, and a Whiting Writers' Award, among other honors and awards. He and his family live in Dallas.
Ben Fountain recommends
Bobcat and Other Stories (2014)
"Nothing short of brilliant...This extraordinary story collection is sure to confirm its author as one of the best of her generation."
See How Small (2015)
"In prose that's as fine as any being written today, Scott Blackwood plumbs the depths of a story that is alternately haunting, terrifying, and achingly tragic."
War Porn (2016)
"Dire, savage, and brilliant, a simmering fever-dream of a novel that's as pure and true in its vision of the long war as anything I've read."
Woman No. 17 (2017)
"I firmly believe that Edan Lepucki is on the cusp of a long, strong career in American letters."
The Secrets Between Us (2018)
(Bhima, book 2)
"The Secrets Between Us broke me open as thoroughly as any novel I've read in recent years. Bhima and Parvati, two proud, aging women hard-used by life, are as unlikely a pair of heroes as one could imagine, and yet they jump from these pages big and true as life, striving, surviving, learning to hope and even love long past the point where such things have come to seem like a cruel joke. Thrity Umrigar has given us yet another brilliant powerhouse of a novel."
Red, White, Blue (2018)
"Why does the stuff of espionage lie so close to essential matters of the human heart? Love, loyalty, lies, betrayalLea Carpenter plumbs the depths of all these in this brilliant, very possibly flawless book. I can think of no novel in recent memory that blends the personal and intimate so truly with power and conflict on the grand geopolitical scale. Red, White, Blue is a marvel and a masterpiece."
Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen (2018)
"Sarah Bird takes a few scant lines from history--fragments, really, the barest of bones that have come down to us of Cathy Williams, slave, freedwoman, U.S. Calvary trooper--and spins from them this magnificent imagining of a flesh-and-blood, heart-and-soul Cathy Williams who fears and loves and wants and hurts just as fiercely as any of us. This wonderful novel is as rich in the telling as Thomas Berger's Little Big Man and Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove, but Bird is breaking new ground, staking out a whole different territory. Cathy Williams, a black woman in history; what's been lost to time and neglect is surely regained in good measure by this brilliant, powerful novel."
The Far Field (2019)
"I had to remind myself while reading The Far Field that this is the work of a debut novelist, and not a mid-career book by a master writer at the height of her powers. Madhuri Vijay astonishes with her wisdom, her fearlessness, her sure handling of a desperately loaded narrative that's equal parts love story, war story, and family intrigue. Such is the power of Vijay's writing that I finished the book feeling like I'd lived it. Only the very best novels are experienced, as opposed to merely read, and this is one of those rare and brilliant novels."
Such Good Work (2019)
"Johannes Lichtman has given us a powerful, unsparingly honest portrayal of a soul in torment, trying to find his way to a decent life. How to love, how to work--how to live, however modestly, with meaning and purpose inside a self that for too long has used booze and drugs to avoid the hard work of being human. Building a genuine self, that's an inside job, and in Such Good Work Lichtman delivers a deeply affecting novel of one young man's struggle to be whole."
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