2 August 07 | Chad W. Post | Comments

But man, Robert Olen Butler needs some p.r. intervention asap. In case you haven’t been following this story with baited breath (how could one resist? this is some of the craziest shit I’ve seen in a long time), the other day, Robert Olen Butler sent out a pretty insane e-mail to all his grad students “explaining” why his wife was leaving him for Ted Turner.

(I’m using quotes because his “explanation” is that his wife was abused as a child, and “it is very common for a woman to be drawn to men who remind them of their childhood abusers. Ted is such a man, though fortunately, he is far from being abusive.”)

When Gawker ran the entire e-mail, ROB flipped, couldn’t understand how private electronic correspondence could so quickly travel throughout the Internets and basically made himself look even worse.

Not one to stop, shut up, and try and save face, yesterday ROB told NPR that he had sent out the letter to because it was

essential that the creative writing students at Florida State University “know” that Dewberry couldn’t take the strain of living under his Pulitzer’s shadow any longer and was playing out her childhood trauma issues with Turner, because otherwise they might think that she was after his money, and Butler still cares too much about his ex-wife to let people think that about her. (Full recap at via GalleyCat)

Because that’s about the doucheist thing he could’ve said, I feel morally obliged to post this so we can all chuckle and shake our heads.

Now back to your regularly scheduled international literature programming . . .

UPDATE: ROB’s back on Gawker with a new message elegantly dissected by Emily. I’m starting to think that all ROB’s care and concern is just a front and that this is just a ploy to get him a little face-time. Does he have a new book coming out? Cause really, five days ago, no one cared about his love life or insane e-mail skills. And to leave with one awesome ROB line: “I admire the wide-ranging good works Ted does to preserve the earth and prevent nuclear war.”

....
Writers
Writers by Antoine Volodine
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

Antoine Volodine’s vast project (40 plus novels) of what he calls the post-exotic remains mostly untranslated, so for many of us, understanding it remains touched with mystery, whispers from those “who know,” and guesswork. That’s not to say that, were. . .

Read More >

My Brilliant Friend
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
Reviewed by Acacia O'Connor

It hasn’t quite neared the pitch of the waiting-in-line-at-midnight Harry Potter days, but in small bookstores and reading circles of New York City, an aura has attended the novelist Elena Ferrante and her works. One part curiosity (Who is she?),. . .

Read More >

Stealth
Stealth by Sonallah Ibrahim
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

From the late 1940s to the early 1950s, Egypt was going through a period of transition. The country’s people were growing unhappy with the corruption of power in the government, which had been under British rule for decades. The Egyptians’. . .

Read More >

Miruna, a Tale
Miruna, a Tale by Bogdan Suceavă
Reviewed by Alta Ifland

Miruna is a novella written in the voice of an adult who remembers the summer he (then, seven) and his sister, Miruna (then, six) spent in the Evil Vale with their grandfather (sometimes referred to as “Grandfather,” other times as. . .

Read More >

Kamal Jann
Kamal Jann by Dominique Eddé
Reviewed by Lori Feathers

Kamal Jann by the Lebanese born author Dominique Eddé is a tale of familial and political intrigue, a murky stew of byzantine alliances, betrayals, and hostilities. It is a well-told story of revenge and, what’s more, a serious novel that. . .

Read More >

I Called Him Necktie
I Called Him Necktie by Milena Michiko Flašar
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

While looking back at an episode in his life, twenty-year-old Taguchi Hiro remembers what his friend Kumamoto Akira said about poetry.

Its perfection arises precisely from its imperfection . . . . I have an image in my head. I see. . .

Read More >

Return to Killybegs
Return to Killybegs by Sorj Chalandon
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

The central concern of Sorj Chalandon’s novel Return to Killybegs appears to be explaining how a person of staunch political activism can be lead to betray his cause, his country, his people. Truth be told, the real theme of the. . .

Read More >