Robert Olen Butler has published ten novels: The Alleys of Eden, Sun Dogs, Countrymen of Bones, On Distant Ground, Wabash, The Deuce, They Whisper, The Deep Green Sea, Mr. Spaceman, and Fair Warning-and three volumes of short fiction-Tabloid Dreams, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, which won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and, most recently, Had a Good Time, based on his collection of antique picture post cards (Grove Press, August 2004).

A recipient of both a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction and a National Endowment for the Arts grant, he also won the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. In 2001 he won a National Magazine Award in Fiction.

His stories have appeared widely in such publications as The New Yorker, Esquire, Harper’s, The Atlantic Monthly, GQ, Zoetrope, The Paris Review, The Hudson Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, and The Sewanee Review. They have also been chosen for inclusion in four annual editions of The Best American Short Stories, seven annual editions of New Stories from the South, and numerous college literature textbooks.

Since 1995 he has written feature-length screenplays for New Regency, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Disney, and Universal Pictures and two teleplays for HBO. He is the Francis Eppes Distinguished Professor holding the Michael Shaara Chair in Creative Writing and is driector of the Creative Writing Program at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. He is married to the novelist and playwright Elizabeth Dewberry.


Robert Olen Butler



Had A Good Time
Stories from American Postcards

In his Pulitzer Prize winning book A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, Robert Olen Butler examined America through the unusual perspective of the eyes of Vietnamese post-war immigrants. Now in his dazzling new book of stories, Had a Good Time, he again explores America by finding artistic inspiration in an unlikely and fascinating place- the backs of post cards from a bygone era.    [more]

From Tabloid Dreams

I never can quite say as much as I know. I look at other parrots and I wonder if it's the same for them, if somebody is trapped in each of them paying some kind of price for living their life in a certain way. For instance, "Hello," I say, and I'm sitting on a perch in a pet store in Houston and what I'm really thinking is Holy shit. It's you. And what's happened is I'm looking at my wife.

He was alone and I don't know why, this particular American, and I killed him with a grenade I'd made from a Coca Cola can. Some powder, a hemp fuse and a blasting cap, some scraps of iron and this soda can that I stole from the trash of the village: I was in a tree and I killed him. I could have shot him but I had made this thing and I saw him in the clearing, coming in slow but noisy, and he was very nervous, he was separated and lost and I had plenty of time and I lobbed the can and it landed softly at his feet and he looked down and stared at it as if it was a gift from his American gods, as if he was thinking to pick up this Coca Cola and drink and refresh himself.

Note: In 1987 Robert Olen Butler was awarded the Tu Do Chinh Kien Award by the Vietnam Veterans of America for outstanding contributions to American culture by a Vietnam veteran. Butler served in Vietnam in 1971 first as a counter- intelligence special agent for the Army and later as a translator.


Chapbook Selections:

An Excerpt from
"The Deep Green Sea"

Woman Uses Glass
Eye to Spy on

Woman Struck by
Car Turns Into

Three Ways to
Die from the Fifties:
A Love Story

Jealous Husband
Returns in Form
of Parrot

Fairy Tale





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Interviews and Such:

- Memphis Flyer

- NuzDragon

- Barnes and Noble

- A Good Scent
from a
Strange Mountain

Robert Olen Butler

Published by
Web Del Sol

Washington, DC