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Purchase Fountain’s books through the Mercury’s partnership with Amazon.com. You will most certainly want to have something to discuss with the noted author when you run into him at HEB.

Internationally recognized fiction writer Ben Fountain will join Texas State University’s English department as the University Endowed Chair in Creative Writing from 2014-2016.

Ben Fountain

Ben Fountain

“I think one of the most important things an MFA program can teach is clarity of vision and the tools for understanding and critical analysis,” Fountain said in a 2009 interview with Ecotone, the avant guard quarterly journal. “We need people who see things for what they are, and these MFA students are among the people who are trying, just by definition of trying to make themselves writers. I think MFA programs are a great thing if they’re done right.”

Fountain’s most recent novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, 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 and the Jesse H. Jones Award for Fiction.

The novel was also named a “best book of the year” by Time, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly. The New York Times bestseller is also currently being adapted into a screenplay by Simon Beaufoy, Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Slumdog Millionaire.”

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 and the Whiting Writer’s Award. The national bestseller collection also garnered widespread praise from a number of reviewers who called it “a masterpiece,” “an impeccable debut collection” and a “tremendous achievement.”

FROM TEXAS STATE NEWS SERVICE/KRISTINA KENNEY

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