Had a good time: stories from American postcards

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Grove Press, 2004 - Fiction - 267 pages
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In Robert Olen Butler's dazzling new book of stories, Had a Good Time, he explores America by finding artistic inspiration in an unlikely and fascinating place-the backs of postcards from a bygone era. For many years Butler has collected picture postcards from the early twentieth century-not so much for the pictures on the front but for the messages written on the backs, little bits of the captured souls of people long since passed away. Only Butler could use these brief messages of real people from another age to create fully imagined stories that speak to the universal human condition. From the hilarious "The Ironworkers' Hayride," where a young man named Milton dates a girl with a wooden leg, to 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 fifteen stories convey a complex and true vision of America and Americans that resonates profoundly into our own time.

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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

LibraryThing Review

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


Hotel Touraine
Mother in the Trenches
The Ironworkers Hayride

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About the author (2004)

Robert Olen Butler is a novelist, screenwriter, educator, and short-story writer who grew up in Granite City, Illinois. Butler served in Vietnam. Following the Vietnam War, Butler began writing. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, The Paris Review, and The Saturday Review, as well as in four annual editions of the Best American Short Stories and six annual editions of New Stories of the South. A collection of his stories, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Butler's novels include The Alleys of Eden, Countrymen of Bones, and Sun Dogs. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction and a National Endowment for the Arts grant. Butler also won the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He teaches creative writing at McNeese State University.

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