Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Only those who are intrigued by America's social underside will enjoy Offut's portraits of human flotsam. The underlying plot of the book concerns his wife's pregnancy and the birth of their first child, a son, but neither Offut's approach to nor his words about this subject are original." Publishers Weekly
"[B]y turns lyrical and graphic, outrageous and sensitive, tragic and hilarious, Offutt writes of the 29 stitches his wife required after childbirth, how his mother spoke 'gentle as rain,' and of the twinkling of beaver saliva on fresh wood chips in the Iowa woods where he now lives." Library Journal
"Chris Offutt picks up where Daniel Boone left off...in search of new frontiers." New Yorker
"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." St. Petersburg Times
"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." The New York Times Book Review
The story of Chris Offutt's adventures as a young man, "The Same River Twice" takes readers from the Kentucky Appalachians to Manhattan, from Offutt's gig as a walrus in a traveling circus to his stint as a guide in an Everglade swamp, and from his feelings about his estranged father to his reflections of his own impending fatherhood.
About the Author
Chris Offutt author of the critically acclaimed story collections Kentucky Straight and Out of the Woods, the novel The Good Brother, and the memoir No Heroes, lives in Iowa City, Iowa.