Margot Mifflin
May 07, 1993 AT 04:00 AM EDT

A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain

Current Status
In Season
Robert Olen Butler
Fiction, Short Stories

We gave it an A

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. A Vietnam veteran himself, Robert Olen Butler describes Vietnamese both native and refugee (mostly in his home state, Louisiana) who are negotiating the margins between a ruined national past and a baffling postwar present. Butler’s writing in A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain is delicate as rice paper and rich with emotional nuance and cross-cultural insight. A

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