Chris Offutt is clearly one of our region’s most distinguished writers, and his seventh book, only his second novel, has been awaited with great anticipation. Offutt grew up in Haldeman, Kentucky, a small, very rural, community not far from Morehead State University. He 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 a biography, My Father, the Pornographer (2016). He has also been a screenwriter for two television series, True Blood and Weeds. This is Offutt's first novel after a successful story collection and memoir. The protagonist, Virgil Caudill, gets in deep trouble and feels forced to flee the Eastern Kentucky mountains.
New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997. Trade paperback.