Every Fall Since 1993

Robert Olen Butler

Robert Olen Butler
Photo Credit: Kelly Butler

Robert Olen Butler’s lyrical and emotional new novel, Perfume River, explores one contemporary North Florida family’s drama as it echoes the legacies of the Vietnam War. It is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s sixteenth novel, in addition to six short story collections and a volume of lectures on the creative process. “What I so like about Perfume River is its plainly-put elegance,” raves fellow Pulitzer winner Richard Ford. “Enough time has passed since Vietnam that its grave human lessons and heartbreaks can be—with a measure of genius—almost simply stated. Butler’s novel is a model for this heartbreaking simplicity and grace.” Butler’s story collection A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain explored the Vietnam War and its aftermath from the perspective of the Vietnamese, earning him the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.  In 2013 Butler joined the ranks of Norman Mailer, Edward Albee, Joyce Carol Oats, John Updike and Maxine Hong Kingston to become the seventeenth recipient of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature. A two-time winner of both the National Magazine Award and the Pushcart Prize, Butler’s stories appear in The New Yorker, Esquire, Harper’s, The Atlantic Monthly, GQ, Zoetrope, The Paris Review, Granta, and four annual editions of The Best American Short Stories. He has lectured in universities, appeared at conferences, and met with writers’ groups in 17 countries as a literary envoy for the U.S. State Department.

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