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In New Book, Appalachian Writers Respond To 'Hillbilly Elegy'


In 2016, author J.D. Vance published his best-selling memoir, “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis.”  

In it, Vance discusses his childhood in Ohio, and his extended family who are from Appalachian Kentucky.   

But in the nearly three years since the book's publication, those living in the region have taken issue with Vance's generalizations about Appalachians — and some of them have responded in a new book of essays, stories and articles called "Appalachian Reckoning." 

There will be a reading from it tonight at Carmichael's featuring some of the essayists featured in the book.

While "Hillbilly Elegy" has received critical and commercial praise — it was a New York Times bestseller and is in the process of being adapted as a movie directed by Ron Howard — many of the essays in "Appalachian Reckoning" point out Vance’s sweeping characterizations of Appalachians as lazy.  

In his book, Vance refers to “white welfare queens,” and says in the area where he grew up “many folks talk about working more than they actually work.”

Attendees at tonight's reading, which will be held at Carmichael's on Frankfort Avenue, will hear from "Appalachian Reckoning" writers Richard Hague, Ivy Brashear, Travis Linnemann and Anthony Harkins.  

The reading begins at 7 pm.  More information is available here.