Robert Olen Butler and A Small Hotel

Robert Olen Butler (A Small Hotel) I mean being a writer is like being a psychoanalyst, but you don’t get any patients.   Al Alvarez Robert Olen Butler’s novel A Small Hotel is a gem.  It is a diamond.  It is an intense moment-by-moment psychological study of a...

Towards the next novel

On reading War and Peace (Tolstoi), On War (Clausewitz) and War (Sun Tsu) March 15, 2011 In writing my next novel “Wounded,” I have been thinking how to create the eminence grise, Alexander Soroka, is a disillusioned Bolshevik Russian Jew who had had a...

In her homeland, in my homeland

On 1 October I served as a Wisconsin Book Festival usher for Kao Kalia Yang, http://www.kaokaliayang.com/ a 28-year-old passion-filled Hmong woman born in one of the post-Vietnam refugee camps in Thailand. This is an exceptional young woman. As part of a larger...