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National Book Critics Circle Awards go to 'Billy Lynn,' 'Far From the Tree'

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(Read caption) 'Far From the Tree' by Andrew Solomon and 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk' by Ben Fountain won the NBCC nonfiction and fiction prizes, respectively.

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The National Book Critics Circle awarded its top prizes for 2012 to already well-received works such as “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” by Ben Fountain and “The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson” by Robert Caro.

Fountain’s novel won the fiction award for the NBCC, while Caro’s work picked up the biography prize and Andrew Solomon’s book “Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity.”

The NBCC's 2012 poetry award went to D.A. Powell’s work “Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys.” The criticism award went to author Marina Warner for her book “Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights.” “Swimming Studies” by Leanne Shapton won the autobiography prize.

Monitor fiction critic Yvonne Zipp called “Billy Lynn” an “absurdist portrait of the war and modern society painted with brush strokes laid as precisely and as viciously as a whip.”

“Having been away for months, Lynn returns to his own homeland as a stranger, and the dissonance is both uncomfortable and revealing,” Zipp notes.

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