In 2008, Kevin Sampsell’s estranged father died of an aneurysm. When he returned home to Kennewick, Washington for the funeral, Kevin’s mother revealed to him disturbing threads in their family history — stories of incest, madness, betrayal, and death. In A Common Pornography, he tells his family’s unforgettable story — from his mother’s first tumultuous marriages and his father’s physical, pyschological, and sexual abuse of his half-sister to his own tales of first jobs, first bands, and first loves in the Pacific Northwest in the 70s and 80s.One of Sampsell’s previous books was written as a kind of “memory experiment,” in which he recollected luminous details from his childhood in independently amusing chapters. Employing the same form of memoir in A Common Pornography, he intertwines the tragic with the everyday, the dysfunctional with the fun, lending the book its undeniable, unsensationalized reality. He captures the many shades and the whole of the Sampsell family — both its tragedy and its resiliency.