Chris Offutt is an American writer, director and actor.
The son of author Andrew J. Offutt, Chris Offutt grew up in a small former mining community in the Appalachian foothills of eastern Kentucky. He quit high school to join the army, but failed the physical. He subsequently attended Morehead State University and graduated with a degree in theater and a minor in English. He then hitchhiked around the country, holding more than 50 jobs, all part-time.
He later attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop. In 1992, he published a short story collection, Kentucky Straight. His second book was the 1993 memoir The Same River Twice, and in 1997 he published his first novel, The Good Brother. In 1999, he published his second book of stories, Out of the Woods, followed in 2002 by No Heroes: A Memoir of Coming Home, about a six-month return home to Rowan County.
His work has received awards from the Lannan Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Whiting Foundation. Offutt was also named one of the twenty best young American fiction writers by Granta. His non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times, Men's Journal, Oxford American, and on National Public Radio. His work is widely translated, and taught in high schools and colleges. His stories are included in many anthologies, including Best American Short Stories, four appearances in New Stories of the South, and twice on Selected Shorts on NPR in New York City. He has also presented more than 100 public readings of his work in the USA and abroad. In 2005, Offutt made his comic book debut when he wrote "Another Man's Escape" for Michael Chabon Presents: The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist. A second comic is included in the anthology "Noir," from Dark Horse Comics.
Offutt has been a visiting faculty member at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the University of Montana, the University of New Mexico, Grinnell College, Morehead State University, Mercer University and is currently at the University of Mississippi.