About The Book
A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain is Robert Olen Butler’s Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of lyrical and poignant stories about the aftermath of the Vietnam War and its enduring impact on the Vietnamese. Written in a soaring prose, Butler’s haunting and powerful stories blend Vietnamese folklore and contemporary American realities, creating a vibrant panorama that is epic in its scope. This new edition includes two previously uncollected stories—”missing” and “salem”—that brilliantly complete the collection’s narrative journey, returning to the jungles of Vietnam to explore the experiences of a former Vietcong soldier and an American MIA.
“Deeply affecting . . . A brilliant collection of stories about storytellers whose recited folklore radiates as implicit prayer . . . One of the strongest collections I’ve read in ages.” —Ann Beattie
“Remarkable . . . for how beautifully it achieves its daring project of making the Vietnamese real.” —George Packer, The New York Times Book Review
“Butler’s achievement is not only to reveal the inner lives of the Vietnamese, but to show, through their eyes, how the rest of us appear from an outside perspective.” —Madison Smart Bell, Chicago Tribune
“The book has attracted such acclaim not simply because it is beautifully and powerfully written, but because it convincingly pulls off an immense imaginative risk. . . . Butler has not entered the significant and ever-growing canon of Vietnam-related fiction (he has long been a member)—he has changed its composition forever.” —Claire Messud, The Guardian (London)
“The number of novels and short-story collections about the Vietnam War is now approaching 500. Were I to recommend a single volume that poignantly shows the magnitude and the humanity of the tragedy, it would be this one.” —John Clark Pratt, The Detroit News
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize