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Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

2012 National Book Critics Awards

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain. Nineteen-year-old Billy Lynn is home from war. Back in Texas, he has become a national celebrity. A Fox News crew filmed Billy and the rest of Bravo squad defeating Iraqi insurgents in a ferocious firefight. The story follows Billy and his fellow Bravos through a climactic afternoon, as they mix with the rich and powerful. They will learn hard truths about love and death, family and friendship, duty and honour. In "Billy Lynn", Ben Fountain has created a new American hero for our times.

The National Book Critics Circle Awards are presented annually to recognize achievements, by American authors for the best book in five categories: fiction, general nonfiction, biography/autobiography, poetry, and criticism.


Caldecott Medal | Man Booker Prize | National Book Awards | National Book Critics Circle Awards | Newbery Medal | Nobel Prize | PEN/Faulkner Award | Pulitzer Prize

National Book Critics Circle Award Winners


Far From the Tree

Far From the Tree, by Andrew Solomon (General Nonfiction)

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain (Fiction)

The Passage of Power, by Robert Caro (Biography)

Swimming Studies, by Leanne Shapton (Autobiography)

Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys, by D.A. Powell (Poetry)

Stranger Magic, by Marina Warner (Criticism)


Binocular Vision

Binocular Vision, by Edith Pearlman (Fiction)

Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World, by Maya Jasanoff (General Nonfiction)

George F. Kennan: An American Life, by John Lewis Gaddis (Biography)

The Memory Palace: A Memoir, by Mira Bartok (Autobiography)

Space, in Chains, by Laura Kasischke (Poetry)

Otherwise Known as the Human Condition, by Geoff Dyer (Criticism)


A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan

A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan (Fiction)

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, by Isabel Wilkerson (General Nonfiction)

How To Live: Or, A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer, by Sarah Bakewell (Biography)

Half a Life, by Darin Strauss (Autobiography)

One with Others: [a little book of her days], by C. D. Wright (Poetry)

Lyric Poetry and Modern Politics: Russia, Poland, and the West, by Clare Cavanagh (Criticism)


Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel

Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel (Fiction)

The Age of Wonder, by Richard Holmes (General Nonfiction)

Cheever: A Life, by Blake Bailey (Biography)

Somewhere Towards the End, by Diana Athill (Autobiography)

Versed, by Rae Armantrout (Poetry)

Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays, by Eula Biss (Criticism)


2666, by Roberto Bolano

2666, by Roberto Bolano (Fiction)

The Forever War, by Dexter Filkins (General Nonfiction)

The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul, by Patrick French (Biography)

My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq, by Ariel Sabar (Autobiography)

Half the World in Light, by Juan Felipe Herrera (Poetry)

Sleeping It Off in Rapid City, by August Kleinzahler (Poetry)

Children's Literature: A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter, by Seth Lerer (Criticism)


The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao , by Junot Diaz (Fiction)

Medical Apartheid , by Harriet Washington (General Nonfiction)

Stanley, the Impossible Life of Africa's Greatest Explorer , by Tim Jeal (Biography)

Brother, I'm Dying , by Edwidge Danticat (Autobiography)

Elegy , by Mary Jo Bang (Poetry)

The Rest is Noise , by Alex Ross (Criticism)


The Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai

The Inheritance of Loss , by Kiran Desai (Fiction)

Rough Crossings , by Simon Schama (General Nonfiction)

James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon , by Julie Phillips (Biography)

The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million , by Daniel Mendelsohn (Autobiography)

Tom Thomson in Purgatory , by Troy Jollimore (Poetry)

Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences , by Lawrence Weschler (Criticism)


The March, by E.L. Doctorow

The March , by E.L. Doctorow (Fiction)

Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster , by Svetlana Alexievich (General Nonfiction)

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer , by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin (Biography)

Them: A Memoir of Parents , by Francine Du Plessix Gray (Autobiography)

Refusing Heaven , by Jack Gilbert (Poetry)

The Undiscovered Country: Poetry in the Age of Tin , by William Logan (Criticism)


Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson

Gilead , by Marilynne Robinson (Fiction)

The Reformation: A History , by Diarmaid MacCulloch (General Nonfiction)

de Kooning: An American Master , by Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan (Biography and Autobiography)

The School Among the Ruins , by Adrienne Rich (Poetry)

Where You're At: Notes From the Frontline of a Hip-Hop Planet , by Patrick Neate (Criticism)


Known World, by Edward P. Jones

Known World , by Edward P. Jones (Fiction)

Sons of Mississippi , by Paul Hendrickson (General Nonfiction)

Krushchev: The Man and His Era , by William Taubman (Biography and Autobiography)

Early Columbarium , by Susan Stewart (Poetry)

River of Shadows: Edweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West , by Rebecca Solnit (Criticism)


Atonement, by Ian McEwan

Atonement , by Ian McEwan (Fiction)

A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide , by Samantha Power (General Nonfiction)

Charles Darwin: The Power of Place , by Janet Browne (Biography and Autobiography)

Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest , by B.H. Fairchild (Poetry)

Tests of Time , by William H. Gass (Criticism)


Austerlitz, by W.G. Sebald

Austerlitz , by W.G. Sebald (Fiction)

Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper , by Nicholson Baker (General Nonfiction)

Boswell's Presumptuous Task: The Making of the Life of Dr. Johnson , by Adam Sisman (Biography and Autobiography)

Saving Lives , by Albert Goldbarth (Poetry)

The War Against Cliché: Essays and Reviews, 1971-2000 , by Martin Amis (Criticism)


Being Dead, by Jim Crace

Being Dead , by Jim Crace (Fiction)

Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing , by Ted Conover (General Nonfiction)

Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan , by Herbert P. Bix (Biography and Autobiography)

Carolina Ghost Woods , by Judy Jordan (Poetry)

Quarrel & Quandary , by Cynthia Ozick (Criticism)


Motherless Brooklyn, by Jonathan Lethem

Motherless Brooklyn , by Jonathan Lethem (Fiction)

Time, Love, Memory: A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior , by Jonathan Weiner (General Nonfiction)

The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White , by Henry Wiencek (Biography and Autobiography)

Ordinary Words , by Ruth Stone (Poetry)

Selected Non-Fictions , by Jorge Luis Borges (Criticism)


The Love of a Good Woman, by Alice Munro

The Love of a Good Woman , by Alice Munro (Fiction)

We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families , by Philip Gourevitch (General Nonfiction)

A Beautiful Mind , by Sylvia Nasar (Biography and Autobiography)

The Bird Catcher , by Marie Ponsot (Poetry)

Visions of Jazz , by Gary Giddins (Criticism)


The Blue Flower, by Penelope Fitzgerald

The Blue Flower , by Penelope Fitzgerald (Fiction)

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down , by Anne Fadiman (General Nonfiction)

Ernie Pyle's War , by James E. Tobin (Biography and Autobiography)

Black Zodiac , by Charles Wright (Poetry)

Making Waves , by Mario Vargas Llosa (Criticism)


Women in their Beds, by Gina Berriault

Women in their Beds , by Gina Berriault (Fiction)

Bad Land , by Jonathan Raban (General Nonfiction)

Angela's Ashes , by Frank McCourt (Biography and Autobiography)

Sun Under Wood , by Robert Hass (Poetry)

Finding a Form , by William Gass (Criticism)


Mrs. Ted Bliss, by Stanley Elkin

Mrs. Ted Bliss , by Stanley Elkin (Fiction)

A Civil Action , by Jonathan Harr (General Nonfiction)

Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson , by Robert Polito (Biography and Autobiography)

Time & Money: New Poems , by William Matthews (Poetry)

The Forbidden Best-sellers of Pre-revolutionary France , by Robert Darnton (Criticism)


The Stone Diaries, by Carol Shields

The Stone Diaries , by Carol Shields (Fiction)

The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War , by Lynn H. Nicholas (General Nonfiction)

Shot in the Heart , by Mikal Gilmore (Biography and Autobiography)

Rider , by Mark Rudman (Poetry)

The Culture of Bruising: Essays on Prizefighting, Literature and Modern American Culture , by Gerald Early (Criticism)


A Lesson Before Dying, by Ernest J. Gaines

A Lesson Before Dying , by Ernest J. Gaines (Fiction)

The Land Where the Blues Began , by Alan Lomax (General Nonfiction)

Genet , by Edmund White (Biography and Autobiography)

My Alexandria , by Martin Booth (Poetry)

Opera in America: A Cultural History , by John Dizikes (Criticism)


All the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy

All the Pretty Horses , by Cormac McCarthy (Fiction)

Young Men and Fire , by Norman Maclean (General Nonfiction)

Writing Dangerously: Mary McCarthy and Her World , by Carol Brightman (Biography and Autobiography)

Collected Shorter Poems 1946-1991 , by Hayden Carruth (Poetry)

Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America , by Gary Wills (Criticism)


A Thousand Acres, by Jane Smiley

A Thousand Acres , by Jane Smiley (Fiction)

Backlash: The Undeclared War Against America Women , by Susan Faludi (General Nonfiction)

Patrimony: A True Story , by Philip Roth (Biography and Autobiography)

Heaven and Earth: A Cosmology , by Albert Goldbarth (Poetry)

Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory , by Lawrence L. Langer (Criticism)


Rabbit at Rest, by John Updike

Rabbit at Rest , by John Updike (Fiction)

The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America , by Shelby Steele (General Nonfiction)

Means of Ascent: The Years of Lyndon Johnson , by Robert A. Caro (Biography and Autobiography)

Bitter Angel , by Amy Gerstler (Poetry)

Encounters and Reflections: Art in the Historical Present , by Arthur C. Danto (Criticism)


Billy Bathgate, by E.L. Doctorow

Billy Bathgate , by E.L. Doctorow (Fiction)

The Broken Cord , by Michael Dorris (General Nonfiction)

A First-Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt , by Geoffrey C. Ward (Biography and Autobiography)

Transparent Gestures , by Rodney Jones (Poetry)

Breakfast on Pluto , by Patrick McCabe (Criticism)


The Middleman and Other Stories, by Bharati Mukherjee

The Middleman and Other Stories , by Bharati Mukherjee (Fiction)

Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63 , by Taylor Branch (General Nonfiction)

Oscar Wilde , by Richard Ellman (Biography and Autobiography)

The One Day , by Donald Hall (Poetry)

Works and Lives: The Anthropologist as Author , by Clifford Geertz (Criticism)


The Counterlife, by Philip Roth

The Counterlife , by Philip Roth (Fiction)

The Making of the Atomic Bomb , by Richard Rhodes (General Nonfiction)

Chaucer: His Life, His Works, His World , by Donald R. Howard (Biography and Autobiography)

The Industry of Souls , by Martin Booth (Poetry) Dance Writings , by Edwin Denby (Criticism)


Kate Vaiden, by Reynolds Price

Kate Vaiden , by Reynolds Price (Fiction)

War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War , by John W. Dower (General Nonfiction)

Tombee: Portrait of a Cotton Planter , by Theodore Rosengarten (Biography and Autobiography)

Wild Gratitude , by Edward Hirsch (Poetry)

Less Than One: Selected Essays , by Joseph Brodsky (Criticism)


The Accidental Tourist, by Anne Tyler

The Accidental Tourist , by Anne Tyler (Fiction)

Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families , by J. Anthony Lukas (General Nonfiction)

Henry James: A Life , by Leon Edel (Biography and Autobiography)

The Triumph of Achilles , by Louise Gluck (Poetry)

Habitations of the Word: Essays , by William H. Gass (Criticism)


Love Medicine, by Louise Erdrich

Love Medicine , by Louise Erdrich (Fiction)

Weapons and Hope , by Freeman Dyson (General Nonfiction)

Dostoevsky: The Years of Ordeal, 1850-1859 , by Joseph Frank (Biography and Autobiography)

The Dead and the Living , by Sharon Olds (Poetry)

Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry , by Robert Hass (Criticism)


Ironweed, by William Kennedy

Ironweed , by William Kennedy (Fiction)

The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House , by Seymour M. Hersh (General Nonfiction)

Minor Characters , by Joyce Johnson (Biography and Autobiography)

The Changing Light at Sandover , by James Merrill (Poetry)

Hugging the Shore: Essays and Criticism , by John Updike (Criticism)


George Mills, by Stanley Elkin

George Mills , by Stanley Elkin (Fiction)

The Path of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson , by Robert Caro (General Nonfiction)

Antarctic Traveler , by Katha Pollitt (Poetry)

The Second American Revolution and Other Essays , by Gore Vidal (Criticism)


Rabbit Is Rich, by John Updike

Rabbit Is Rich , by John Updike (Fiction)

The Mismeasure of Man , by Stephen Jay Gould (General Nonfiction)

A Coast of Trees , by A.R. Ammons (Poetry)

A Virgil Thomson Reader , by Virgil Thomson (Criticism)

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