November 2017 Fiction & Entertainment Oldcastle Books

Perfume River Robert Olen Butler

Perfume River
Robert Olen Butler


Paperback | Nov 2017 | No Exit Press | 9781843449645 | 256pp | 198x129mm | Temporarily unavailable | GEN | AUD$17.99, NZD$22.99
Hardback | Feb 2017 | No Exit Press | 288pp | 234x153mm | Out of print | GEN
Paperback | Jan 2017 | No Exit Press | 9781843449454 | 256pp | 234x156mm | Replaced by new edition | GEN

'What I so like about Perfume River is its plainly-put elegance. Enough time has passed since Vietnam that its grave human lessons and heartbreaks can be—with a measure of genius—almost simply stated. Butler's novel is a model for this heartbreaking simplicity and grace' - Richard Ford

'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' - Guardian

'One of the most profoundly creative voices in fiction today' - Ann Patchett

Profound and poignant, Perfume River is an examination of relationships, personal choice, and how war resonates down the generations. It is the finest novel yet from one of America's most important writers, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain.

Robert Quinlan and his wife Darla teach at Florida State University. Their marriage, forged in the fervor of anti-Vietnam-war protests, now bears the fractures of time, with the couple trapped in an existence of morning coffee, solitary jogging and separate offices. For Robert and Darla, the cracks remain below the surface, whereas the divisions in Robert’s own family are more apparent: he has almost no relationship with his brother Jimmy, who became estranged from the family as the Vietnam War intensified. William Quinlan, Robert and Jimmy’s father, a veteran of World War II, is coming to the end of his life, and aftershocks of war ripple across all their lives once again when Jimmy refuses to appear at his father’s bedside. And a disturbed homeless man whom Robert at first takes to be a fellow Vietnam veteran turns out to have a devastating impact not just on Robert, but on his entire family.