WM Words & Wine Affinity Group (virtual)
[No City], MI
United States of America
May 24, 2021: Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance
Vance begins his memoir by explaining that he is not a politician or an academic. He is simply somebody who grew up in Appalachia’s working class and who found a way to achieve upward mobility against the statistical odds, which indicated that he would—as the grandson of hillbillies and the son of a drug addict—fail to graduate high school and likely succumb to drug addiction and domestic violence. His remarkable ability to avoid this fate, though, is not the reason he wrote Hillbilly Elegy. Rather, he wrote the book so that people could “understand what happens in the lives of the poor and the psychological impact that spiritual and material poverty has on their children.”
Hillbillies, Vance explains, descend from Scots-Irish Americans, who migrated to the United States from Scotland in the 18th and 19th centuries. For this group of people, “poverty is the family tradition,” and hardly anybody earns college degrees. Like Vance’s relatives, many Scots-Irish Americans live in the hills of Kentucky. Although Vance himself spent most of his childhood in Middletown, Ohio—where many hillbilly families migrated in order to work at Armco Steel, a generous employer of formally uneducated workers—he identifies Jackson, Kentucky as his true home.
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Affinity Group Chairs
Rene Buggs, firstname.lastname@example.org, 616-238-7963
Penny Streling, email@example.com 616-826-7821
Words & Wine Affinity Group
“Words & Wine” offers a relaxed gathering at a local restaurant to discuss recent reads and enjoy a lively interactive discussion. We meet at various local restaurants for food and a glass of wine (or any other beverage you prefer!) while taking the opportunity to network. The group encourages members to suggest books for subsequent monthly book club get-togethers.
Some examples of our most recent reads are “The Little Paris Bookshop”, Nina George; “Sense and Sensibility”, Jane Austen and this month we’re reading a selection from Reese Witherspoon’s book club “Where the Crawdads Sing”, Delia Owens. (Finishing the book is never a prerequisite for attending the club meetings!) Check out the Inforum Events page for upcoming meeting details. Happy reading!
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