Author bio

Chris Offutt

Chris Offutt - book author

Chris Offutt is the author of books: My Father, the Pornographer, Kentucky Straight: Stories, Country Dark, Out of the Woods, The Same River Twice: A Memoir, The Good Brother, No Heroes: A Memoir of Coming Home, Degrees of Elevation: Short Stories of Contemporary Appalachia (Appalachian Writing Series), Two-Eleven All Around, A casa e ritorno


Author books

#
Title
Description
01
When Andrew Offutt died, his son, Chris, inherited a desk, a rifle, and eighteen hundred pounds of pornographic fiction. Andrew had been considered the king of twentieth-century smut, with a writing career that began as a strategy to pay for his son's orthodontic needs and soon took on a life of its own, peaking during the 1970s when the commercial popularity of the erotic novel reached its height.

With his dutiful wife serving as typist, Andrew wrote from their home in the Kentucky hills, locked away in an office no one dared intrude upon. In this fashion he wrote more than four hundred novels, including pirate porn, ghost porn, zombie porn, and secret agent porn. The more he wrote, the more intense his ambition became and the more difficult it was for his children to be part of his world.

Over the long summer of 2013, Chris returned to his hometown to help his widowed mother move out of his childhood home. As he began to examine his father's manuscripts and memorabilia, journals, and letters, he realized he finally had an opportunity to gain insight into the difficult, mercurial, sometimes cruel man he'd loved and feared in equal measure. Only in his father's absence could he truly make sense of the man and his legacy.

In My Father, the Pornographer, Offutt takes us on the journey with him, reading his father s prodigious literary output as both a critic and as a son seeking answers. This is a book about the life of a working writer who supports his family solely by the output of his typewriter; it's about the awful psychic burdens one generation unthinkingly passes along to the next; and it's about growing up in the Appalachian hills with a pack of fearless boys riding bicycles through the woods, happy and free."
02
Riveting, often heartbreaking stories that take readers through country that is figuratively and literally unmapped. These stories are set in a nameless community too small to be called a town, a place where wanting an education is a mark of ungodly arrogance and dowsing for water a legitimate occupation. Offutt has received a James Michener Grant and a Kentucky Arts Council Award.
03
Tucker, a young veteran, returns from war to work for a bootlegger. He falls in love and starts a family, and while the Tuckers don’t have much, they have the love of their home and each other. But when his family is threatened, Tucker is pushed into violence, which changes everything. The story of people living off the land and by their wits in a backwoods Kentucky world of shine-runners and laborers whose social codes are every bit as nuanced as the British aristocracy, Country Dark is a novel that blends the best of Larry Brown and James M. Cain, with a noose tightening evermore around a man who just wants to protect those he loves. It reintroduces the vital and absolutely distinct voice of Chris Offutt, a voice we’ve been missing for years.

Chris Offutt is an outstanding literary talent, whose work has been called “lean and brilliant” (New York Times Book Review) and compared by reviewers to Tobias Wolff, Ernest Hemingway, and Raymond Carver. He’s been awarded the Whiting Writers Award for Fiction/Nonfiction and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Fiction Award, among numerous other honors. His first work of fiction in nearly two decades, Country Dark, is a taut, compelling novel set in rural Kentucky from the Korean War to 1970.
04
Seven years ago, Chris Offutt made his literary debut with Kentucky Straight, a fiercely original collection that earned him not only critical praise but many prestigious awards.
The eight new stories in Out of the Woods mark Offutt's return to the form in which he first displayed his astonishing talent. Offutt, who "draws landscape and constructs dialogue with the eyes and ears of a native son" (The Miami Herald), is on strong home turf here, capturing those who have left the Kentucky hills and long to return. These are stories of gravediggers and drifters, gamblers and truck drivers a long way from home, tales that are so full of hard edges they can't help but tell some hard truths.
05
At the age of nineteen, Chris Offutt had already been rejected by the army, the Peace Corps, the park rangers, and the police. So he left his home in the Kentucky Appalachians and thumbed his way north -- into a series of odd jobs and even stranger encounters with his fellow Americans. Fifteen years later, Offutt finds himself in a place he never thought he'd be: settled down with a pregnant wife. Writing from the banks of the Iowa River, where he came to rest, he intersperses the story of his youthful journeys with that of his journey to fatherhood in a memoir that is uniquely candid, occasionally brutal, and often wonderfully funny. As he reckons with the comforts and terrors of maturity, Offutt also discovers what is best in life and in himself.
06
Virgil Caudill has never gone looking for trouble, but this time he's got no choice -- his hell-raising brother Boyd has been murdered. Everyone knows who did it, and in the hills of Kentucky, tradition won't let a murder go unavenged. No matter which way he chooses, Virgil will lose.

The Good Brother, Chris Offutt's finely crafted first novel, is the story of Virgil's struggle to find his real self in the wake of an impossible choice. Traversing the American landscape from the hollows of Eastern Kentucky to the plains of Montana, Offutt explores the hunger for belonging that drives our most passionate beliefs, and in the process shows himself to be one of our most powerful storytellers.
07
In his fortieth year, Chris Offutt returns to his alma mater, Morehead State University, the only four-year school in the Kentucky hills. He envisions leading the modest life of a teacher and father. Yet present-day reality collides painfully with memory, leaving Offutt in the midst of an adventure he never imagined: the search for a home that no longer exists.
Interwoven with this bittersweet homecoming tale are the wartime stories of Offutt's parents-in-law, Arthur and Irene. An unlikely friendship develops between the eighty-year-old Polish Jew and the forty-year-old Kentucky hillbilly as Arthur and Offutt share comfort in exile, reliving the past at a distance. With masterful prose, Offutt combines these disparate accounts to create No Heroes, a profound meditation on family, home, the Holocaust, and history.