Perfume River

Robert Olen Butler

Published by No Exit Press in Hardback (£14.99) on 10-11-2016

BROTHERLY LOVE, FAMILY TIES AND THE LEGACY OF THE VIETNAM WAR ARE EXPLORED THROUGH A PORTRAIT OF A SINGLE NORTH FLORIDA FAMILY.

Robert Quinlan and his wife Daria teach at Florida State University. Their marriage, forged in the fervour of anti-Vietnam War protests, has become timeworn, with the couple trapped in an existence of morning coffee, separate offices and solitary pursuits. Within his marriage, the cracks remain below the surface, whereas the divisions in Robert’s own family are more apparent. He has almost no relationship with his brother Jimmy, who became estranged from the family as the Vietnam War intensified.

Events over the course of one week bring the two brothers back into contact after decades. William Quinlan, Robert and Jimmy’s father, a veteran of World War II, is coming to the end of his life and aftershocks of war ripple across all their lives once again when Jimmy refuses to appear at his father’s bedside.

Further tumult – caused by a disturbed homeless man whom Robert at first takes to be a fellow Vietnam veteran – turns out to have a shattering impact not just on Robert, but on his entire family.

Poignant and devastating, Perfume River, is a tour de force from a Pulitzer Prize-winning author at the very height of his powers.

PR Collective’s current campaigns

See more campaigns →

Nine Nasty Words

Language evolves with time, and so does what we consider profane or unspeakable. Nine Nasty Words is a rollicking examination of profanity, explored from every angle: historical, sociological, political, linguistic. In a particularly coarse moment, when the public discourse is shaped in part by once-shocking words, nothing could be timelier.

Read more →

I Can’t Believe It’s Baby Food!

My aim is to help parents make both cooking and mealtimes as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. It’s all about sharing food that the whole family will love, with your baby in a highchair pulled up to the table. Apart from the first few weeks of weaning, there really is no need to cook twice. In fact, it’s much better that you don’t! Your baby will benefit both nutritionally and developmentally from eating with you; and, if you are not stuck in the kitchen all day preparing endless different meals, you’ll be happier and less frazzled, too.

Your child’s development depends on three key areas of health that are intertwined and are interdependent – these are the Brain, the Immune system and the Gut (BIG). The first thousand days seems to be the critical window to get this essential BIG nutrition trio functioning well, as that is when your baby’s mind, immune-resilience and intestinal health are being primed for the future.

Read more →

Extra Life

Steven Johnson will present a four-part television series with historian David Olusoga, also titled Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer. As with the book, the series, set in the context of today’s COVID-19 crisis, explores the lessons learned from previous global pandemics—including smallpox, cholera, the Spanish flu, and others—and reveals how scientists, doctors, self-experimenters, and activists launched a public health revolution, saving millions of lives, fundamentally changing how we think about illness and ultimately paving the way for modern medicine.

Read more →