Crosstown Arts and the Booksellers at Laurelwood present critically-acclaimed fiction, nonfiction, and screen writer Chris Offutt, as he reads from and signs his new memoir, My Father, the Pornographer (Atria Books).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Chris Offutt’s books include the story collections Kentucky Straight and Out of the Woods, the novel The Good Brother, and the memoirs The Same River Twice and No Heroes: A Memoir of Coming Home. His work has also appeared in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Essays. In addition, he has written extensively for television, most notably for HBO’s True Blood and Treme and the Showtime series Weeds. His work has received awards from the Lannan Foundation, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters,National Endowment for the Arts, and Whiting Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. He lives near Oxford, MS, where he teaches in the MFA program at the University of Mississippi.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
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.
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.
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.
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.