It was the sixties, and I was in college and incredibly restless.
I wanted from my father what I had never wanted or sought: his advice.
My advice can be succinctly expressed in three words: Persist, persist, persist!
Getting answers is easy. The difficult thing is knowing the right questions.
I am always hungry & wanting to have sex. This is a fact.
If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.
Follow your dog, and you might just live to write for another day.
You can get anyone to sleep with you—if you want it bad enough.
Abandon the idea that arts and sciences are mutually exclusive.
Our lives are often shaped by small, seemingly trivial choices.
Reviewers are curs and their opinions are not to be taken seriously.
To see—and to see properly—is the writer’s central responsibility.
Needless to say, when it was my night to read I was beyond terrified.
It holds a place in my heart: Never forget the suspenders.
I worry that I will be kidnapped by my cab driver and driven to an ATM.
Truths don’t eclipse each other—they only complicate each other.
His hands were the last to go under, pressed together into a little steeple.
I asked for water, and he shot me a look of henpecked resentment.
We loaded the packs and started down, into the bluing of dusk.
This Lee was a woman, and she was a painter, and she was good.
The store was one of his last-ditch efforts to make a pile of money.
Some people are so beautiful they belong everywhere that they go.
My parents had seven children; some of us have bank accounts.
You could not look at Leila for long, and yet you longed to look at her.
The notebooks reveal insertions, deletions, queries, and corrections.
Manuscript pages from The Blue Flower and The Bookshop.
The handwritten first draft pages of Robert Olen Butler's first novel.