Joe Blair is a pipefitter who lives in Coralville, Iowa, with his wife and four children. His essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Iowa Review.
“A memoirist with a poet’s soul, [Blair] takes what is arguably the most mercilessly exploited natural resource in all of literature and replenishes it. Blair has an autistic son, Michael…and it is their love story that lends the tempest... and this memoir its observational virtuosity.” (New York Times Book Review)
“Some memoirs you read for the feelings they inspire, and some you read to find out how in the heck they’ll turn out. By the Iowa Sea manages to do both with an understanding of so-called ordinary life so raw and true you’ll gasp, and a situation so pressing you’ll tear through the pages. The writer’s unflinching reflection about himself and his choices make this book.” (Oprah.com)
"A beautifully written story about marriage, responsibility and caring for an autistic child." (Bookpage)
"Engrossing, thoughtful, startlingly honest, and, ultimately, hopeful." (Iowa Press Citizen)
"Blair put away his motorcycle and his dreams to do manual labor while supporting four children, one of whom is autistic. Rekindling a sense of purpose took something big: a terrible flood. Not a whiny work; fresh, plain-spoken, and down to earth. Definitely try."