Robert Olen Butler

From Illinois Authors
Jump to: navigation, search

General Information

Name: Robert Olen Butler

Pen Name: None

Genres: Fiction, Non-Fiction

Born: 1945 in Granite City, Illinois


Email: N/A

Illinois Connection

Butler was born and grew up in Granite City. He attended Northwestern University in Evanston and lived in Illinois until 1967.

Biographical and Professional Information

Robert Olen Butler is an American fiction writer. He served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1971. He rose to the rank of sergeant in the Army Military Intelligence Corps. His experiences during that period have affected his writings, and as a result, in 1987 Butler received the Tu Do Chinh Kien Award from the Vietnam Veterans of America for outstanding contributions to American culture by a veteran.

After working as a steel mill laborer, a taxi driver, and a substitute teacher in high schools in the years following his tour of duty in Vietnam, Butler joined Fairchild Publications, where he worked on the staffs of trade publications such as Electronic News. From 1975 until 1985, he was the editor-in-chief of Fairchild's Energy User News.

Butler taught creative writing at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, from 1985 to 2000. He then joined the faculty of Florida State University as a Francis Eppes Distinguished Professor, holding the Michael Shaara Chair in Creative Writing.

His short-story collection, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1993.

Published Works

  • Alleys of Eden, 1981
  • Sun Dogs, 1982
  • Countrymen of Bones, 1983
  • On Distant Ground, 1985
  • Wabash, 1987
  • The Deuce, 1989
  • A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, 1992
  • They Whisper, 1994
  • Tabloid Dreams, 1996
  • Deep Green Sea, St. Martin`s Press, 1997
  • Mr. Spaceman, Grove Press, 2000
  • Fair Warning, 2002
  • Had a Good Time: Stories from American Postcards, 2004
  • From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction, 2005
  • Severance, Chronicle Books, 2006
  • Intercourse: Stories, Chronicle Books, 2008
  • Hell: A Novel, Grove Press, 2010
  • A Small Hotel, Grove Press, 2011
  • The Hot Country, Mysterious Press, 2013
  • The Star of Istanbul, Mysterious Press, 2014
  • The Empire of Night, Mysterious Press, 2014
  • Perfume River, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2016

Titles at Your Library

Sun Dogs

ISBN: 0818006366
Release Date: 1982-10

Find on World Cat

On Distant Ground

ISBN: 0394540409
Release Date: 1985-02-12

Find on World Cat


ISBN: 039455597X
Release Date: 1987-02-12

Find on World Cat

The Deuce

ISBN: 067167093X
Release Date: 1989-09

Find on World Cat

A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain: Stories

ISBN: 0802137989
Release Date: 2001-05-10

Find on World Cat

They Whisper: A Novel

ISBN: 0805019855
Release Date: 1994-01

Find on World Cat

Tabloid Dreams: Stories

ISBN: 0805055894
Release Date: 1997-10-15

Find on World Cat

Deep Green Sea

ISBN: 0436220741
Release Date: 1999-12

Find on World Cat

Mr. Spaceman

ISBN: 0802137822
Release Date: 2001-02-27

Find on World Cat

Fair Warning: A Novel

ISBN: 0871138336
Release Date: 2002-01-09

Find on World Cat

From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction

ISBN: 0802117953
Release Date: 2005-03-10

Find on World Cat

Intercourse: Stories

ISBN: 0811863573
Release Date: 2008-05-28

Find on World Cat

The Hot Country: A Christopher Marlowe Cobb Thriller

ISBN: 0802121543
Release Date: 2013-09-24

Find on World Cat

The Star of Istanbul: A Christopher Marlowe Cobb Thriller

ISBN: 0802121578
Release Date: 2014-10-21

Find on World Cat

The Empire of Night: A Christopher Marlowe Cobb Thriller

ISBN: 0802123236
Release Date: 2014-10-07

Find on World Cat

Perfume River: A Novel

ISBN: 0802125751
Release Date: 2016-09-06

Find on World Cat

Literary Awards

A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

  • Southern Review/LSU Prize for Short Fiction for the best first collection of short fiction by an American writer, 1992
  • Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1993
  • Notable Book, American Library Association, 1993
  • Pulitzer Prize for fiction, 1993

Perfume River

  • Longlisted, Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, 2017

Other Awards:

  • Emily Clark Balch Award for the best work of fiction to appear in the 1990 The Virginia Quarterly Review, 1991
  • Lotos Club Award of Merit, 1996
  • William Peden Prize for the best work of fiction to appear in the 1996 The Missouri Review, 1997
  • Illinois Author of the Year, Illinois Association of Teachers of English, 1997
  • Paul Bowles Award for Fiction, Five Points, 2004
  • Virginia Faulkner Award for Excellence in Writing, The Prairie Schooner, 2004
  • National Magazine Award for Fiction, 2001 and 2005
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature, 2013

Speaking Engagements and Upcoming Appearances

Speaking Engagement Availability: (No)

External Links

Robert Olen Butler on WorldCat


This page can only be edited by Illinois Center for the Book staff, this author or this author's representatives. Please contact us for access.