Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Book Review: My Father, the Pornographer: A Memoir
My Father, the Pornographer: A Memoir by Chris Offutt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“Families,” a therapist once said. “Keep us in business.” I think writers would most likely say the same.
This is an intense memoir about an unusual childhood. A childhood much like my own in the sense that we both grew up in Kentucky amidst crushing poverty and isolation, although in his case he was more closely tied to middle class life than I was. We both had absent, or rather disinterested fathers, and both had the same feelings of inarticulate yearning characteristic of the place we grew up. That hopeless feeling of not belonging, of feeling unfit for your current environment, moving away once your able to and then being even more unfit once you return home.
Memoirs like these help people, not just the authors but the readers, to find their place in the world and in turn that life review helps people come to terms with their own past.
It’s no question really, and a story like this helps to bring this point home, your parents are the ones who fuck you up, and then you end up spending the rest of your life trying to unfuck yourself.