A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler

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Synopsis

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain is Robert Olen Butler’s Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of lyrical and poignant stories about the aftermath of the Vietnam War and its enduring impact on the Vietnamese. Written in a soaring prose, Butler’s haunting and powerful stories blend Vietnamese folklore and contemporary American realities, creating a vibrant panorama that is epic in its scope. This new edition includes two previously uncollected stories—“Missing” and “Salem”—that brilliantly complete the collection’s narrative journey, returning to the jungles of Vietnam to explore the experiences of a former Vietcong soldier and an American MIA.
 

About Robert Olen Butler

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Joanne Koenig Coste, a nationally recognized expert and an outspoken advocate for patient and family care, is a board member of the American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. Currently in private practice as an Alzheimer's family therapist, Koenig Coste also serves as president of Alzheimer's Consulting Associates. She lectures around the country and is the recipient of a National Award for Health Heroes from Reader's Digest. She was named a "Woman to Watch in the 21st Century" by NBC Nightly News
 
Published March 11, 2012 by Grove Press. 290 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs, Law & Philosophy. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

The New York Times

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A middle-aged immigrant, ignorant of his impending doom, is sitting alone on the beach at Coney Island reading the newspaper, trying to make sense of its confusing array of fact and advertising: ''I pass by a full-page announcement of Macy's Furniture Sale where The Prices Do the Talking and by n...

Aug 15 2004 | Read Full Review of A Good Scent from a Strange M...

Publishers Weekly

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A few stories amount to little more than vignettes or reveries: in "No Chord of Music," a woman takes her husband's car for an empowering ride, and in "Sunday," an immigrant at Coney Island feels blessed to be in America.

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Publishers Weekly

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Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, Butler's 15 stories, set in the Vietnamese enclaves of suburban New Orleans, capture the voices of people who have lost their homeland and are trying to adapt to an alien culture.

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Entertainment Weekly

In this Pulitzer Prize-winning story collection, a Vietnamese stripper finds a husband in a gentle Vietnam veteran, a father smarts at the discovery that his American son has repudiated his Vietnamese heritage, and an immigrant couple learn that they have bought into an empty American dream.

May 07 1993 | Read Full Review of A Good Scent from a Strange M...

The Independent

Butler turns this to comedy with the Saigon bargirl who hears an American trying to say: 'May Vietnam live for ten thousand years,' but is actually saying: 'The sunburnt duck is lying down.' Which sounds like a profound allusion to Vietnamese folklore, so she falls in love with him, only to disco...

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Bookmarks Magazine

Thomas Mallon Boston Globe 3 of 5 Stars Had a Good Time left me feeling the way I feel after reading a friend’s postcard: intrigued but not fulfilled, tantalized by the limitless variety of place and time and character, but wanting to bury myself deeper in their complexity …" Roland Merullo ...

Oct 08 2007 | Read Full Review of A Good Scent from a Strange M...

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