Robert Olen Butler Biography | Author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

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Robert Olen Butler was born January 20, 1945, in Granite City, Illinois, and spent the majority of his childhood in a small steel mill town in that state. His father, a retired actor, helped inspire his interest in books, movies, and theater, and his mother's stories about Granite City during the Depression inspired the content for his fifth novel, Wabash.

Butler excelled in high school, serving as president of the student body and graduating as covaledictorian. He enrolled at Northwestern University, where he planned to major in theater. In his sophomore year, however, he transferred to oral interpretation, which is an approach to literature through performance. This focus drew Butler increasingly to writing. After graduating summa cum laude in 1967, he attended graduate school at the University of Iowa, where he earned an M.F.A. in playwriting.

Believing he would be drafted for the Vietnam War, Butler signed...

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This section contains 447 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain Study Guide
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