Adult Book Club Discussion: "Hillbilly Elegy"
Please join us for the next meeting of our Adult Book Club scheduled for Tuesday,
June 12, at 1:00 p.m. We will be discussing the book "Hillbilly Elegy" by J.D. Vance.
From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, 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
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.
The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.
But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.
A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
Copies of the book are available for checkout at the library.
What: Adult Book Club
When: June 12, 2018, 1:00 pm
Where: East Troy Lions Public Library
East Troy Lions Public Library Adult Book Club Reading List 2018
January: A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
February: The Book of Joy by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu
March: Z by Theresa Anne Fowler
April: The Stars are Fire by Anita Shreve
May: The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
June: Hillbilly Elegy by J. Vance
July: They May Not Mean To, But They Do by Cathleen Schine
August: First Draft and Epoch by East Troy High School Students
September: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovish by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
October: Trump Revealed by Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher
November: Evicted by Matthew Desmond
December: Emily Oliphant is Fine by Gail Honeyman