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.”)
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.”
Many of Virginie Despentes’s books revolve around the same central idea: “To be born a woman [is] the worst fate in practically every society.” But this message is nearly always packaged in easy-to-read books that fill you with the pleasure. . .
Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s La Superba is appropriately titled after the Italian city of Genoa, where, after escaping the pressures of fame in his own country, the semi-autobiographical narrator finds himself cataloguing the experiences of its mesmerizing inhabitants with the intention. . .
It took reading 44 pages of Intervenir/Intervene before I began to get a sense of what Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez were up to. Recurring throughout these 44 pages—throughout the entire book—are shovels, shovel smacks to the face, lobelias—aha!. . .
As presaged by its title, contradiction is the theme of Peter Stamm’s novel, All Days Are Night. Gillian, a well-known television personality, remains unknowable to herself. And Hubert, a frustrated artist and Gillian’s lover, creates art through the process of. . .
It’s a rare and wonderful book that begins and ends with violence and humor. At the start of Etgar Keret’s The Seven Good Years, Keret is in a hospital waiting for the birth of his first child while nurses, in. . .
Last year, Han Kang’s The Vegetarian was an unexpected critical hit. Now, it’s just been published in the U.S. and has already received a great deal of positive critical attention. The Vegetarian was a bold book to attempt as an. . .
It’s been almost a year since the publication of Nowhere to Be Found by Bae Suah, but despite being included on the 2015 PEN Translation award longlist, and some pretty vocal support from key indie presses, the book has. . .
Jorge Eduardo Benavides’ novel La paz de los vencidos (The Peace of the Defeated) takes the form of a diary written by a nameless Peruvian thirty-something intellectual slumming it in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands. Recently relocated. . .
Anyone with any interest at all in contemporary Moroccan writing must start with Souffles. A cultural and political journal, Souffles (the French word for “breaths”) was founded in 1966 by Abdellatif Laâbi and Mostafa Nissabouri. Run by a group of. . .
Randall Jarrell once argued a point that I will now paraphrase and, in doing so, over-simplify: As a culture, we need book criticism, not book reviews. I sort of agree, but let’s not get into all of that. Having finished. . .