It was Texas night in literary New York. Ben Fountain, the Dallas author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, won the fiction category in the National Book Critics Circle Awards last night — while Robert Caro’s fourth volume of his Lyndon Johnson bio, The Passage of Power, took the biography prize, Caro’s third. Other awards included the non-fiction prize for Far From the Tree, Andrew Solomon’s account of parents and ‘different’ children. Solomon will be speaking at the Fort Worth Modern on Tuesday.
Billy Lynn lost in the National Book Awards competition for best novel, but the NBCC tends to award more seriously literary efforts. It is Fountain’s first novel and, of course, it was the subject of our ‘year in advance’ look at what was coming in 2012 that was worth paying attention to (“Ben Fountain Takes the Gloves Off”).