Robert Olen Butler checks into 'A Small Hotel' to solve an emotional mystery in Room 303
In an interview with former Grove Press associate editor Andrew Robinton at the 2011 BookExpo America book industry trade convention, Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction writer Robert Olen Butler introduced his new widely acclaimed novel, A Small Hotel, recently released in trade paperback (Grove Press; July, 2012), where protagonists Michael and Kelly are about to end their marriage of 24 years. Calling the novel 'an emotional mystery,' Butler plumbed the depths of novel's love theme, which rests on the inability to express, or even say the word, 'love.' The conversation then turned to one of Butler's favorite topics--New Orleans, where he taught at McNeese State before moving on to teach at Florida State, but which remains rooted in his 'compost heap,' pointing to his post-Katrina novel Hell, in which New Orleans is itself the central character, and where the action of A Small Hotel takes place. Wrapping up, Butler discoursed expansively on the forms, techniques and substance of creative writing, and took a question from the audience about dealing with writer's doubt.
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