Bridging the Gap: Comparing “Letters from My Father” and “The Writer”

The short story “Letters from My Father”, written by Robert Olen Butler, and the poem “The Writer”, written by Richard Wilbur, both depict family struggles. “Letters from My Father” is about a Vietnamese girl who grew up without a father because of troubles with immigration and when she is finally reunited with her father she … Read moreBridging the Gap: Comparing “Letters from My Father” and “The Writer”

Already Dead: The Need for Human Interaction in Butler’s “Titanic Victim Speaks Through Waterbed”

Robert Olen Butler’s story “Titanic Victim Speaks Through Waterbed” is narrated by the ghost of a victim who died on the Titanic, whose spirit continues to haunt the waters in which he dwelled. Making his way from the ocean, to a cup of tea, and now to his current residence, a waterbed, the narrator describes … Read moreAlready Dead: The Need for Human Interaction in Butler’s “Titanic Victim Speaks Through Waterbed”

Vietnamese through the Eyes of a Foreigner

Robert Olen Butler’s collection of short stories in his novella, “A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain,” explores issues confronting Vietnamese immigrants in America after the conclusion of the U.S. war in Vietnam. With great care, Butler exhibits the experiences of displaced Vietnamese such as indifference, dislocation, adjustment, and acculturation encountered after the fall of … Read moreVietnamese through the Eyes of a Foreigner