Not Even Immortality Lasts Forever (Hardcover)

Mostly True Stories

By Ed McClanahan

Counterpoint LLC, 9781640092600, 272pp.

Publication Date: February 18, 2020

List Price: 26.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


McClanahan crafts his coming-of-age tales with comic wit and refreshing honesty, inviting readers to relive the memories that shaped his character and career--from hilarious childhood antics in small-town Kentucky to eye-opening adventures on the West Coast

Not Even Immortality Lasts Forever is a vivid retelling of Ed McClanahan's life, from his early years growing up in rural northeastern Kentucky to his departure for the West Coast in pursuit of a writing career. He shares vivid moments--from perilous swimming lessons in the Ohio River to his budding friendship with Ken Kesey--with enthusiasm, enlivening each story with narration that is both profoundly reflective and hilariously self-aware. Jovial, lighthearted, and unapologetic, Not Even Immortality Lasts Forever illuminates the value of the rural American mundane and the everyday moments that shape us.

McClanahan begins in his hometown of Brooksville, Kentucky, and chaos ensues as events from his childhood unfold. As a young adult, he grapples with the challenges of establishing himself as a writer, eventually leaving Kentucky to seek new prospects in California and Oregon. It is there that he is introduced to inspirational mentors and lifelong friends, among them Robert Stone, Larry McMurtry, and Neal Cassady. McClanahan molds vibrant characters from individuals he's encountered throughout his life, crafting a playful and engrossing narrative that could almost be mistaken for fiction.

McClanahan skillfully encapsulates the setting and situations as seen through the eyes of his younger self, while offering poignant reflections on his sources of creative inspiration, family ties, and entrenched traditions. He draws connections between past and present, moments of reminiscence and reality, crafting a story that speaks to the importance of tracing one's roots, even as times change.

About the Author

ED MCCLANAHAN, a native of northeastern Kentucky, is the author of several books, including The Natural Man and Famous People I Have Known. He is the recipient of a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, two Yaddo fellowships, and an Al Smith Fellowship. He has taught at Oregon State University, Stanford, the University of Kentucky, the University of Montana, and Northern Kentucky University. He lives in Kentucky with his wife.