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Steamboat Magazine

Cloudbreak author to speak in Steamboat tonight

08/14/2013 02:04PM ● By Deb Olsen

 Author Kelly Daniels will read from his powerful new memoir, CLOUDBREAK,

CALIFORNIA on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 7 pm at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore,
68 9th Street, Steamboat Springs, CO,

CLOUDBREAK CALIFORNIA was released by Boulder, CO publisher Owl 
Canyon Press in May, and it has received outstanding reviews and praise.
It's a heart-breaking, but often humorous memoir of how Daniels grew up on
the road with hippie parents, of his personal discovery, and ultimate survival.

The book begins when Kelly is in 9th grade. His surfer-dude dad shows up 
at school, takes him out of class, and for a ride. Speeding down the highway,
he confesses to murdering a man while high on cocaine and tells his son
to watch his back because he won't be around. He skips bail, flees the country,
and disappears from the boy's life for years.


by Kelly Daniels 

“Identity issues, father-son relationships, and surfing are themes that resonate in this fascinating recollection of a young man's coming of age … This is an entertaining and well-crafted memoir … Daniels's story will resonate with readers.” 

Publisher’s Weekly 

“The opening chapter is a grabber, and once it’s got you, the book that follows, hurtling off on a happenstance journey through Central America and back, won't let go. Kelly Daniels has written a memoir built for speed, but also one wise enough to know not to outpace its artfully understated emotion.” ─Stuart Dybek, I Sailed With Magellan, MacArthur Fellow 

“To go from aimless, boozy wanderer to the author of a memoir as open-hearted and beautifully written as Cloudbreak, California, is a remarkable accomplishment. Kelly Daniels is living proof that life really does provide second chances if one has the guts and raw talent to go after them.” 

Donald Ray Pollock, The Devil All the Time 

“The writing is compelling, peopled with a pantheon of fellow drifters and down-at-their-heels natives … Readers come to care about the young Daniels and his struggle to find his niche in the world.” 

ForeWord Reviews, Karen Mulvahill 

“Kelly Daniels's Cloudbreak, California comes at you like breakers on the shore. It's a memoir that reads like a Beat novel, but with more heart and more guts. A story about family and love and finding your way, it's also a manual on how to become a writer. And how to become a man.” 

Peter Geye, The Lighthouse Road 

“… As a young man with more than his share of nerve, he outwanders even his hapless father, and his remarkable life story comes within a hair of being a death story enough times to keep the reader breathless. Daniels’s sure-handed demotic prose shimmers into poetry in the scenes where he finally learns to surf with his aging father.” ─Jaimy Gordon, Lord of Misrule

National Book Award winner 


Kelly Daniels grew up on the road, living for stints 

with his parents in a Hawaiian commune, a waterless, powerless cabin in the desert, and in an old step-van outfitted with bunks. As an adult, he set off on his own, traveling extensively through Europe, Mexico and 

Central America. Along the way, he picked up odd jobs when he could find them, jobs such as production 

manager of a furniture factory (Guatemala), newspaper reporter (Mexico), and bartender (all over). 

His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Puerto del Sol, Cimarron Review, Third Coast, Sonora Review, South Dakota Review, Santa Clara Review, GSU Review, Orange Coast Review, Eyeshot and other journals. Among other awards, he recently won first prize in Creative Nonfiction at the San Miguel Writers’ Conference. He lives with his wife and young son in Rock Island, Illinois, where he teaches creative writing at Augustana College.