This Thursday Writers on the Bay, a joint production of Florida International University's English department and Creative Writing program, closes its fall semester of readings with Butler. Cited in New Times' Best of Miami 2001 issue, this series has showcased a slew of talents over the years, among them poets Robert Pinsky and Lorna Goodison, writers Bruce Jay Friedman and Gay Talese, and Nation publisher Victor Navasky.
Eleven books after the humiliation of having his first work rejected 21 times, Butler has forged a successful career that offers a lesson in perseverance. He says of writing: "That's where all of my fiction starts, with that fundamental yearning inside each of us." Thankfully for some authors and for a world of readers, the desire to write and get published has often outweighed anything else.