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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
With current affairs growing more painful by the day, and our reputation abroad tarnished, American readers naturally turn to literature with a global perspective. Who better to help us understand who we are and where we're going than our most articulate, thoughtful writers? It's our pleasure to introduce Ben Fountain, a writer with a sharp, provocative mind whose debut, a collection of eight short stories, offers both a journey to places most of us have never seen, and a view on life and war that's full of ambiguity.
Moral quandaries serve as a theme in Fountain's stories, spun in such a way as to raise the ire of readers, if not to leave them disillusioned with how things work in third-world countries and the way prosperous countries, like our own, bully their way in, regardless of the cost. The power of Wall Street is showcased in "Asian Tiger," in which a mediocre American golfer in Burma serves as a front man for a shady business transaction. In "Near-Extinct Birds of the Central Cordillera," a financial executive intent on striking a lucrative business deal with Colombian revolutionaries remains powerless to affect the release of an American hostage. With each story a fascinating portrayal of ordinary men and women wrestling with difficult moral decisions, Fountain has produced a collection that is not to be missed. (Fall 2006 Selection)