A Memoir of Coming Home
Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9780684865515, 272pp.
Publication Date: March 1, 2002
In his fortieth year, Chris Offutt returns to teach at his alma mater, Morehead State University, the only four-year school in the Kentucky hills. With the humblest of intentions, he expects to give back to his community, hoping to become, quietly, a hero of sorts. Yet present-day reality collides painfully with memory, leaving Offutt in the midst of an adventure he never imagined: searching for a home that no longer exists.
During that same year, Offutt records the story of his parents-in-law, Arthur and Irene, Holocaust survivors who emigrated to New York from Poland in 1946. Their moving chronicle of exile and war entwines with Offutt's attempt to find a sense of safety and home. But it is Arthur who sagely states that "home is illusory" and there are "no heroes" in life.
"The New Yorker" crowned Chris Offutt's 1993 memoir, "The Same RiverTwice," the "memoir of the decade." "No Heroes" is a sure contender to reclaim that honor, lifting the tale of one man's homecoming to universal significance.