Robert Olen Butler

A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
May 02, 1995  -  West-Indisch Huis, Herenmarkt 97, Amsterdam


On May 2, 1995, the John Adams Institute hosted an event with Pulitzer Prize winning author Robert Olen Butler. He spoke about his book  A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain. The evening was moderated by Dutch writer Stephen Sanders.

Robert Olen Butler became a writer after he had served with the U.S. Army as a linguist in Vietnam. His access to the Vietnamese language and culture led him to write a trilogy of novels about the war: The Alleys of Eden, On Distant Ground and The Deuce. Butler’s collection A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain – winner of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize – contains the experiences and memories of Vietnamese immigrants living in Louisiana. Hailed as funny, touching and spooky, it has been compared with Amy Tan’s work on Chinese-Americans. Butler says he expects to write a book every eighteen months for the rest of his life. “I always knew that I had a lot of books in me. I’ve had so many experiences in my life, so many places I can write about. I’m life-drunk!”


Moderator: Stephan Sanders

In collaboration with: Amsterdam Renaissance Hotel, Uitgeverij Bodoni, Penguin Books Nederland, van Ditmar Boekimport, The American Book Center, United States Information Service the Hague, the Netherland-America Foundation, NCM Holding N.V., Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken, Prins Bernhard Fonds, Stichting Artimo, Claire Taylor-Copywriter, Borrie & Co-Registeraccountants