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My Father, the Pornographer by Chris Offutt

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Chris Offutt is clearly one of our region’s most distinguished writers. This, his sixth book, is essentially a combination autobiography and biography.  Offutt grew up in pretty unusual circumstances. His father, a writer in a variety of genres, bought a mansion in an out-of-the-way corner of Eastern Kentucky, that has been built by an entrepreneur of a large business that had failed. Offutt's mother was a popular English professor at Morehead State University, about 25 windy road miles away, a good 45-minute drive. So Chris lived between two worlds, his intellectual parents and the locals who associated his home with wealth and power. Chris Offutt dropped out of high school and traveled around the country taking whatever jobs he could find before returning to Morehead to get a degree in Theater and English. After more travels, he was accepted to the prestigious Iowa Writer’s Workshop and has had mostly academic jobs ever since. His career got off to a terrific start with the story collection, Kentucky Straight (1992), still one of the best books for fiction teachers because of the combination of amazing turns of phrase and sweeping verisimilitudes so true to life that they are almost guaranteed to either piss you off or impress you with their wisdom. Since then he has written two autobiographies, another story collection, a novel and this biography, My Father, the Pornographer (2016). He has also been a screenwriter for two television series, True Blood and Weeds,

New York: Atria Books, 2016.  261pages. Hardcover in dust jacket.