Cicada buzzing with inaugural book club meeting
HUNTINGTON- Cicada Books & Coffee, located at 604 14th Street West, will host its inaugural One Night Stand Book Club meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 27, at 7 p.m. The public is invited to join in an informal, peer-to-peer discussion centering on “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis.”
The #1 New York Times Bestseller by J.D. Vance and Dr. Elizabeth Catte’s “What You’re Getting Wrong about Appalachia.” Topics for discussion will be provided, but readers are encouraged to share orginal thoughts and ideas about the books and Appalachian culture/stereotypes with others.
″‘Hillbilly Elegy’ resonated with many people in the area, and I hope people will want to engage with each other and evaluate its themes,” said
Cicada Books & Coffee owner Dawn Norman. “Catte’s book offers a different perspective on hillbilly culture, and I think her critique is a great starting point for discussion.”
Published in 2016, Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy” was named by the Times as one of “Six Books to Understand Trump’s Win” and is soon to be a major motion picture directed by Ron Howard.
The book is summarized as a “powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class.” Vance uses his own family history and personal journey - from growing up in Middletown, Ohio, to joining the military to later attending Ohio State and Yale Law School - to make conclusions about Appalachians and the struggles that they face, and while
plenty have identified with his characterization, others have critiqued it for relying heavily on stereotypes and not considering a variety of cultural factors in his depiction and interpretation of the region and its issues.
Catte, a public historian from Tennessee now living in Virginia, released “What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia” in 2018. She describes the work as “critical look at the Hillbilly Elegy-fication of politics that uses radical history to challenge perceptions of the region as a hub of white, working-class woe,” and many observe the book as a corrective view of Appalachia - a region that is much more diverse than it is typically portrayed.
In “What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia” Catte “analyzes trends in contemporary writing on Appalachia, presents a brief history of Appalachia with an eye toward unpacking Appalachian stereotypes, and provides examples of writing, art, and policy created by Appalachians as opposed to for Appalachians.”
For more information on Cicada Books & Coffee, like @CicadaBooks on Facebook and follow @cicada_books on Instagram.