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Robert Olen Butler

USA flag (1945 - )

Robert Olen Butler has published twelve novels—The Alleys of Eden, Sun Dogs, Countrymen of Bones, On Distant Ground, Wabash, The Deuce, They Whisper, The Deep Green Sea, Mr. Spaceman, Fair Warning, Hell and (forthcoming this August) A Small Hotel—and six volumes of short fiction—Tabloid Dreams, Had a Good Time, Severance, Intercourse, Weegee Stories, and A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, which won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Butler has published a volume of his lectures on the creative process, From Where You Dream, edited with an introduction by Janet Burroway.His works have been translated into nineteen languages, including Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, Polish, Japanese, Serbian, Farsi, Czech, Estonian, and Greek. He was also a charter recipient of the Tu Do Chinh Kien Award given by the Vietnam Veterans of America for “outstanding contributions to American culture by a Vietnam veteran.” Over the past fifteen years 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.
Robert Olen Butler recommends

Night Swimmer (1994)
Joseph Olshan
"Powerful and resonent... Joseph Olshan has explored deeply the realities of the obsessiveness of love."
Me and Johnny Blue
Me and Johnny Blue (2000)
(Johnny Blue, book 1)
Joseph A West
"Wildly comic."

Free Bird (2002)
Greg Garrett
"A splendid and deeply affecting work."
Grass Roof, Tin Roof
Grass Roof, Tin Roof (2003)
Dao Strom
"Brilliant... an important new writer."

Acts of Faith (2005)
Philip Caputo
"Philip Caputo, from Vietnam onwards, has understood the hardest truths of the modern world better than almost anybody. Acts of Faith is a stunningly unflinching novel. On the surface it is set in Africa, but in fact its true landscape is the ravaged soul of the twenty-first century. Philip Caputo is one of the few absolutely essential writers at work today."

Forgiveness (2007)
Jim Grimsley
"What a great pleasure it always is to watch Jim Grimsley's estimable sensibility at work observing and deconstructing the foibles and follies of modern culture. In Forgiveness he exposes, with devastating wit, our cult of body and of fame. This is a brilliant and important novel."
North of the Port
North of the Port (2008)
Anthony Bukoski
"Anthony Bukoski understands how people begin in one place and end up in another and in the process try to preserve or renew or reinvent their very sense of self. Especially in this era, when the issue of if or how or why one becomes an American is increasingly important, Bukoski's book is downright essential."

The Gendarme (2010)
Mark T Mustian
"A harrowing and truly important novel by a splendid American writer."

Mama's Boy (2010)
Rick DeMarinis
"Rick DeMarinis has long been one of my favorite writers; wherever he has cast his gaze, he has taught me something new about the way to see things."

Everything Beautiful Began After (2011)
Simon Van Booy
"Simon Van Booy knows a great deal about the complex longings of the human heart."

Broken Irish (2011)
Edward J Delaney
"Epic in its scope but relentlessly compelling in its storytelling--not a common combination--Broken Irish is a splendidly readable and richly textured novel. Edward J. Delaney is an enormously gifted writer."

Who by Fire (2012)
Mary L Tabor
"Mary L. Tabor’s Who by Fire is a lovely, innovative, deeply engaging novel about how it is that human beings make their way through the mysteries of existence."

The Commandant of Lubizec (2014)
Patrick Hicks
"A fascinating and important book."

Against A Darkening Sky (2015)
Lauren B Davis
"Brilliantly achieves the ideal for a historical novel:Davis is a remarkable writer."

The Summer That Melted Everything (2016)
Tiffany McDaniel
"Tiffany McDaniel’s The Summer That Melted Everything is a wonderfully original, profoundly unsettling, deeply moving novel that delivers both the shock of fully realized reality and the deep resonance of parable. This is a remarkable debut by a splendid young writer."

The Patriots (2017)
Sana Krasikov
"This is one of the finest first novels I've read in ages. "

Desperation Road (2017)
Michael Farris Smith
"Michael Farris Smith is a prodigiously talented writer whose new book is not only an exciting read but an important literary event."

The Weight of Him (2017)
Ethel Rohan
"The Weight of Him is an achingly sad, achingly lovely novel that speaks to the essential core of our shared human experience. I will not soon forget it."

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