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.