Tabloid Dreams: Stories

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9780805031317: Tabloid Dreams: Stories

In his first collection since the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, Robert Olen Butler dazzles anew with his mastery of the short-story form and his true empathy for the denizens of the less-well-explored corners of the human condition. Though his mirthful and appropriately absurd story titles - "Boy Born with Tattoo of Elvis," "Titanic Victim Speaks Through Waterbed," "Woman Uses Glass Eye to Spy on Philandering Husband," and "JFK Secretly Attends Jackie Auction," among others - reflect Butler's genuine fondness for the outsized fancies of tabloid readers' and writers' imaginations, his ambitions are not so lighthearted or ephemeral. Once again he explores the enduring issues of cultural exile, loss, aspiration, and the search for the self. Employing a seamless mixture of high and low culture, of the surreal, the sordid, and the sad, Butler has created a frequently hilarious, always deeply moving, and profoundly American book.

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Review:

Robert Olen Butler's last short story collection, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, was a keen, piercing book told largely in the voice of Vietnamese immigrants to America. To say that his new collection is a departure is an understatement: Butler has taken actual headlines from the more outrageous of the supermarket tabloids and fashioned short fiction around them. Headlines such as "Titanic Victim Speaks Through Waterbed," "Woman Loses Cookie Bake-Off, Sets Self on Fire," and "Every Man She Kisses Dies" are the starting points for this quirky volume from one of the most original American writers at work today.

About the Author:

Robert Olen Butler teaches at McNeese State University.

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