The NBCC Awards Ceremony will be held on the 28th of February 2013. Here are the Fiction Finalists for the NBCC Awards:
Laurent Binet, HHhH (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). Translated from the French by Sam Taylor. Binet lives in Paris, where he teaches French literature at the University of Paris III. He is the author of a memoir, La Vie professionnelle de Laurent B. HHhH, his first novel, won the Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman. HHhH stands for “Himmler’s Hirn heist Heydrich” (“Himmler’s brain is called Heyrich”). In an unusual blend of fiction, memoir, and history, Binet recounts his obsession with the notorious Nazi Reinhard Heydrich and the two parachuters—a Czech and a Slovak trained by the British—who assassinated him.
Ben Fountain, BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK (Ecco). Fountain lives in Dallas, where he set Billy Lynn, his first novel. He has also published a book of short stories, Brief Encounters with Che Guevera, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award. Fountain quit his job as a lawyer and spent 18 years writing fiction before Brief Encounters was published in 2006, an experience Malcolm Gladwell described in a New Yorker story called “Late Bloomers.” Fountain’s reporting from Haiti has appeared on “This American Life.” In Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, a squad of American soldiers are touted as heroes after a Fox News crew films them during an intense firefight with Iraqi insurgents. The book follows them through one intense, surreal day—which happens to be Thanksgiving and the last day of their U.S. Victory Tour—as they visit Cowboys Stadium in Dallas to take part in the halftime show along with Beyoncé and the Cowboys’ cheerleaders.
Adam Johnson, THE ORPHAN MASTER’S SON (Random House). Johnson lives in San Francisco and teaches creative writing at Stanford University. He has published two previous books: Emporium, a collection of short stories, and Parasites Like Us, a novel. The Orphan Master’s Son follows the enigmatically named North Korean citizen Jun Do from his childhood in a work camp for orphans to the inner circles of power in Pyongyang. While researching the book, Johnson was one of the few Americans to visit North Korea.
Lydia Millet, MAGNIFICENCE (W. W. Norton). Millet lives near Tucson, Arizona, and is the author of nine novels. Magnificence is the third part of a loose trilogy that began with How the Dead Dream and Ghost Lights. With her wry humor and sense of the absurd, Millet introduces Susan, whose husband has just died when she learns that she’s inherited a ramshackle mansion full of taxidermied animals from a great-uncle and decides to restore them.
Zadie Smith, NW (The Penguin Press). Smith was born in northwest London, the setting for her most recent novel, and teaches at New York University. Her previous books include three novels—White Teeth, winner of the Whitbread First Novel award; The Autograph Man; and On Beauty, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize—as well as a collection of essays, Changing My Mind. In Smith’s exuberant prose, NW follows four Londoners who grew up together in public housing as they make their way as adults in widely different circumstances.