Had a Good Time: Stories from American Postcards

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Grove/Atlantic, Inc., Dec 1, 2007 - Fiction - 288 pages
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For many years Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Olen Butler has collected picture postcards from the early twentieth century-not so much for the pictures on the fronts but for the messages written on the backs, little bits of the captured souls of people long since passed away. Using these brief messages of real people from another age, Butler creates fully imagined stories that speak to the universal human condition. In "Up by Heart," a Tennessee miner is called upon to become a preacher, and then asked to complete an altogether more sinister task. In "The Ironworkers' Hayride," a young man named Milton embarks on a romantic adventure with a girl with a wooden leg. From the deeply moving "Carl and I," where a young wife writes a postcard in reply to a card from her husband who is dying of tuberculosis, to the eerily familiar "The One in White," where a newspaper reporter covers an incident of American military adventurism in a foreign land, these are intimate and fascinating glimpses into the lives of ordinary people in an extraordinary age.

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User Review  - Dale_Riechers - LibraryThing

what I expected based on other readings of Butler. Has a weird edginess to his story telling Read full review

Had a good time: stories from American postcards

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

These 15 stories by Pulitzer Prize winner Butler were inspired by messages on the early 20th-century postcards he collects. With a 22-city author tour. ... Read full review


Hotel Touraine
Mother in the Trenches
The Ironworkers Hayride
Carl and I
This Is Earl Sandt
The One in White
No Chord of Music
Christmas 1910
Hiram the Desperado
Got Married to Milk
The Grotto
Up by Heart
Uncle Andrew

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About the author (2007)

Robert Olen Butler is the author of ten novels and two collections of stories. In addition to a Pulitzer Prize in 1993 and a National Magazine Award in 2001 (both for fiction), he has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction and an NEA grant, as well as the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He teaches creative writing at Florida State University.

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