PRESS RELEASE FROM EVENT ORGANIZERS:
Tuesday, September 13, 7:00 pm
MALAPROP’S BOOKSTORE & CAFE
55 Haywood St.
About PERFUME RIVER:
“What I so like about Perfume River is its plainly-put elegance. Enough time has passed since Viet Nam 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
“This is thoughtful, introspective fiction of the highest caliber, but it carries a definite edge, thanks to an insistent backbeat that generates suspense with the subtlest of brushstrokes.” —Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
From one of America’s most important writers, PERFUME RIVER, is an exquisite novel that examines family ties and the legacy of the Vietnam War through the portrait of a single North Florida family.
Robert Quinlan is a seventy-year-old historian, teaching at Florida State University, where his wife Darla is also tenured. Their marriage, forged in the fervor of anti-Vietnam-war protests, now bears the fractures of time, both personal and historical, with the couple trapped in an existence of morning coffee and solitary jogging and separate offices. For Robert and Darla, the cracks remain under 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 and 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 an unstable homeless man whom Robert meets at a restaurant and at first takes to be a fellow Vietnam veteran turns out to have a deep impact not just on Robert, but on his entire family.
Taking up some of the same themes of his Pulitzer Prize-winning A Good Scent from A Strange Mountain and his critically acclaimed A Small Hotel, PERFUME RIVER is a lyrical and emotional exploration of one family drama that echoes the lives of so many who are affected by the aftermath of war. It is a profound and poignant book written by an author at the height of his powers, a portrait of family, personal choice, and how war resonates through the American experience.