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The Same River Twice

A Memoir

Chris Offutt


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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.

Praise For The Same River Twice: A Memoir

The New Yorker Chris Offutt picks up where Daniel Boone left search of new frontiers.

St. Petersburg Times Offutt the diarist has no models. The Same River Twice is a wild original...[displaying] the nihilistic passivity of a graduate student with the physical robustness of a convict.

The New York Times Book Review The story of Mr. Offutt's journey is so rich and fantastic and desperately honest that it could stand alone. But twined with the slower, lovely wanderings of a man confronting wild nature in the womb of his wife, The Same River Twice is as moving as the current he must cross and recross to find his way.

Simon & Schuster, 9780743229494, 192pp.

Publication Date: April 2, 2003

About the Author

Chris Offutt is an award-winning author and screenwriter. He worked on the HBO drama True Blood and the Showtime series Weeds. His books include Kentucky StraightThe Same River Twice, The Good BrotherOut of the Woods, and No Heroes: A Memoir of Coming Home. His work has appeared in The Best American Essays, The Best American Short Stories, and many other anthologies. He lives near Oxford, Mississippi.