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The Deep Green Sea

The Deep Green Sea Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Robert Olen Butler is the author of seven novels, six of which are available in Owl editions, the most recent being Tabloid Dreams, and two volumes of stories, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain. He lives in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Winner of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

In The Deep Green Sea, Robert Olen Butler has created a memorable and incandescent love story between Tien, a contemporary Vietnamese woman orphaned in 1975, when Saigon finally fell to the Communists, and Ben, a Vietnam veteran who returns from America to a war-torn land, seeking closure and a measure of peace. Bit by bit they learn more of each other's pasts. Secrets are revealed: Ben's love affair with a Vietnamese prostitute in 1966; Tien's mixed racial heritage and her abandonment by her bar-girl mother, who feared retribution from the North Vietnamese for having given birth to one of the hated "children of dust." In Butler's hands, what follows conjures the stuff of classical tragedy while also achieving a reconciliation of once-warring cultures. Infused equally with eroticism and with the author's deep and abiding reverence for Vietnamese myth and history, The Deep Green Sea is a landmark work in the literature of love and war.

"Robert Olen Butler stands alone as the most accomplished Vietnam War novelist."The Baltimore Sun

"Butler writes essentially, and in a bewitching translation of voice and sympathy."Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Robert Olen Butler is a virtuoso of fictional motivation, a writer whose startling ability to get into his character's heads is at times indecent."Boston Book Review

"An ambitious, lyrical exploration of the lingering wounds of the Vietnamese war, familiar terrain for Pulitzer Prize-winning Butler (A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, 1993, etc.). Ben, a rootless American veteran, has gone back to Vietnam in what seems to be an attempt to recapture the strong, strange sense of being alive that his combat experiences gave him. It's a feeling that nothing in his life since then has matched. The country he goes back to is still suitably different, the aroma of diesel fumes and sweet spices in Ho Chi Minh City are the same, but the place also seems now deeply self-involved, withdrawn, wary. Except, that is, for Tien, a striking young woman who works for the Vietnamese Tourist Authority and finds herself powerfully, disturbingly drawn to Ben. Their swift courtship and rather urgent affair are rendered in a prose of great, simple power. Of course, given the history of their nations, their love is necessarily dangerous and fragile. It is made more so by their personal histories: Ben has never quite gotten over his love for a Saigon bar girl he met during his tour of duty. And Tien, who was raised by her grandmother after her mother, a prostitute, abandoned her, still longs to confront her mother and find out who her father was. Tien and Ben find themselves being swept up into an increasingly frantic search for Tien's mother, a quest that sets in motion a series of tragic events . . . Butler's prose is precise, sensuous, and moving . . . An honest and intermittently powerful attempt to find some redemptive possibilities in the lingering nightmare of that war."Kirkus Reviews

"[Robert Olen Butler] is our poet of the Vietnam experience, our Sophocles, and [this novel] is a drama about . . . how much must be suffered before we become wise."Men's Journal

"Butler writes spellbinding prose."Michael Dorris, Chicago Tribune

Synopsis:

In The Deep Green Sea, Robert Olen Butler has created a memorable and incandescent love story between Tien, a contemporary Vietnamese woman orphaned in 1975, when the city finally fell to the Communists, and Ben, a Vietnam veteran who returns from America to a war-torn land, seeking closure and a measure of peace. Bit by bit they learn more of each other's pasts. Secrets are revealed: Ben's love affair with a Vietnamese prostitute in 1966; Tien's mixed racial heritage and her abandonment by her bar-girl mother, who feared retribution from the North Vietnamese for having given birth to one of the hated "children of dust." In Butler's hands, what follows conjures the stuff of classical tragedy and also achieves a classic reconciliation of once-warring cultures. Infused equally with eroticism and with Butler's deep and abiding reverence for Vietnamese myth and history, The Deep Green Sea is a landmark work in the literature of love and war.

About the Author

Robert Olen Butler is the author of seven novels, six of which are available in Owl editions, the most recent being Tabloid Dreams (Owl Books, 0-8050-5589-4, $12.00), and two volumes of stories, including the Pulitzer Prize winning A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain. He lives in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805060010
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Butler, Robert Olen
Author:
Butler, Robert Olen
Author:
Butler, Robert
Publisher:
Holt Paperbacks
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Vietnam
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Racially mixed children.
Subject:
Racially mixed children -- Fiction.
Subject:
Vietnamese Conflict, 19
Subject:
General Fiction
Edition Number:
1st Owl Books ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Large Print:
Y
Series Volume:
6
Publication Date:
19990115
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Deep Green Sea
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 240 pages Henry Holt & Company - English 9780805060010 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In The Deep Green Sea, Robert Olen Butler has created a memorable and incandescent love story between Tien, a contemporary Vietnamese woman orphaned in 1975, when the city finally fell to the Communists, and Ben, a Vietnam veteran who returns from America to a war-torn land, seeking closure and a measure of peace. Bit by bit they learn more of each other's pasts. Secrets are revealed: Ben's love affair with a Vietnamese prostitute in 1966; Tien's mixed racial heritage and her abandonment by her bar-girl mother, who feared retribution from the North Vietnamese for having given birth to one of the hated "children of dust." In Butler's hands, what follows conjures the stuff of classical tragedy and also achieves a classic reconciliation of once-warring cultures. Infused equally with eroticism and with Butler's deep and abiding reverence for Vietnamese myth and history, The Deep Green Sea is a landmark work in the literature of love and war.
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