Robert Olen Butler

Robert Olen Butler has written 12 novels—The Alleys of Eden, Sun Dogs, Countrymen of Bones, On Distant Ground, Wabash, The Deuce, They Whisper, The Deep Green Sea, Mr. Spaceman, Fair Warning, Hell, and A Small Hotel, which will be published in summer 2011—and five volumes of short fiction including A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain which won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He has also published a volume of his lectures on the creative process, From Where You Dream.

Butler is a recipient of both a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction and a National Endowment for the Arts grant. He has 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. He has twice won a National Magazine Award in Fiction and has received two Pushcart Prizes. His stories have also been chosen for inclusion in four annual editions of The Best American Short Stories, eight annual editions of New Stories from the South, and The New Granta Book of the American Short Story.

His works have been translated into 18 languages, and he was also a charter recipient of the Tu Do Chinh Kien Award given by the Vietnam Veterans of America for “outstanding contributions to American culture by a Vietnam veteran.” He has lectured in universities, appeared at conferences, and met with writers groups in 16 countries as a Literary Envoy for the U.S. State Department.

Butler is the Francis Eppes Distinguished Professor holding the Michael Shaara Chair in Creative Writing at Florida State University.

You can watch Butler write a short story in the "Inside Creative Writing" video series that he discusses during this interview.