Allison Bulger

  • interviews January 31, 2013

    Bookforum talks to Ben Fountain

    Ben Fountain’s literary breakthrough came at age forty-eight, eighteen years after he quit law to write fiction, His debut short-story collection, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, earned him critical acclaim and a Whiting Writer’s Award in 2007, Five years later, Fountain’s first novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, was shortlisted for both the National Book Award and the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize.

    Ben Fountain’s literary breakthrough came at age forty-eight, eighteen years after he quit law to write fiction. His debut short-story collection, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, earned him critical acclaim and a Whiting Writer’s Award in 2007. Five years later, Fountain’s first novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, received the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, was shortlisted for the National Book Award, and is a finalist for this year's NBCC award in fiction. The book takes place on one epic day in the life of nineteen-year-old Billy Lynn, a virgin from a small town in Texas who goes

  • syllabi December 04, 2012

    Homebodies

    Environments can be mind-altering. In books like Heart of Darkness, landscape is portrayed as an alien, oppressive force, and evil is rendered in physical terms. “The earth seemed unearthly,” says Marlow of the Congo. Then there are the novels that keep you indoors. In them, noise is winnowed away and narrative is confined to the space between four walls. Home-bound characters are no longer be prey to the forces that trouble the outside world, but isolation invites other dangers. Pressure builds. The smallest actions and remarks take on unnatural meaning. Inhabitants become estranged from