Stammering Fools, We Will Bow Before Ben Fountain at Thursday's WordSpace Salon

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Ben Fountain wrote a novel.

Here, you digest that for a moment. That Ben Fountain.

O. Henry Award-winning, dual Pushcart Prize-snatching, Texas Institute of Letters award-swiping, McGinnis Richie Prize-fighting, Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award-conquering, Whiting Writers Award-seizing Ben Fountain. And, he's reading from his yet-unreleased novel on Thursday night in Lakewood.

"But, it's only Tuesday," you say. Well, get hold of yourself, you need to RSVP now. Trust us. And, this is an ample reminder to brush up on "Fantasy for Eleven Fingers," arguably the most technically proficient story to ever grace your own 10 digits.

Fountain spent his earlier years as an attorney at Akin Gump before walking away in 1988 to write fiction. Egad, don't you already love him? And, while his fiction has been featured in The Paris Review, The New York Times Magazine, Harper's and Zoetrope, among other prestigious journals, his most famous publication to date is 2006's collection of short stories, Brief Encounters With Che Guevara. Rumors have swirled for years, literally years, that a stalled novel was just on the horizon, and that novel -- Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk -- hits stores next month.

The world waited decades for Fountain's first immaculate attempts, and we couldn't be more confident that the last six years were not spent waiting anxiously in vain. Thursday promises a long-desired teaser, spiraling into a down-and-dirty intellectual thrill for those who have followed the Dallas writer's career. From our own "brief encounters" with Fountain, we can attest that he is as affable as he is talented, and we expect that he'll react graciously when we fall at his feet chanting:

Fountain reads on Thursday at 7 p.m. at 415 North Tyler Street. Correction: The salon is in Lakewood at a private home, and you will receive the address when you RSVP. Admission is free for WordSpace members and $5 to everyone else. Call 214-838-3554 for more details.

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