Title: Hillbilly Elegy
Authors: Vance, J D
Genre: Non Fiction
Pages: 257
Year: 2016
Publisher: William Collins Books
Language: English
Description: In this internationally bestselling memoir and passionate analysis of a culture in crisis, 'Hillbilly'-born Yale Law graduate J.D. Vance takes a probing look at America's white working class through his own experiences growing up.

The book tells a true story of what social, regional and class decline feels like when you were born with it hanging around your neck. As his family's saga plays out, the book shows how J.D.'s grandparents, aunt, sister and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty and trauma.

Writing with piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history. Hillbilly Elegy is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American Dream for a large segment of the population. [Taken from book blurb, Harper Collins]
Categories: Non fiction, Community, Contemporary, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Family Saga, Social commentary/perspectives, What's Hot, Popular Book with Groups, 2019 Titles


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By: CROMW 005 2022-05-04 16:57:42
An inspirational story.

By: AUCK 171 2022-03-09 12:45:34
Very interesting read - raised good discussion. Most of the group were totally ignorant of this topic prior to reading - drew parallels to NZ social issues too.

By: AUCK 346 2021-10-14 14:58:02
A very moving read.

By: AUCK 422 2021-07-02 19:52:03
The majority found this book book thought-provoking, interesting, and informative.

By: CHCH 449 2020-03-10 09:55:10
Most members struggled through this book because of the narrative style. It did generate an interesting discussion comparing our NZ culture with that of the author and the fact that it is happening today when, while reading the book, one could easily believe the setting was 100 years ago. Several of us thought the book was too wordy, there was unncessary repetition and it could easily have been shortened to make it more compelling.

By: WAIHEK 001 2019-10-09 13:54:45
An 'eye opening' book on life in Middle America, which does give a clue on how Donald Trump was elected President. A surprise to see how uneducated people were, and what a hard uncompromising life it was.

By: TEAWA 004 2019-08-12 11:22:49
'Hillbilly Elegy' a great read. Generated great discussion.

By: MATAM 001 2019-08-12 11:21:31
We all loved this book, with the insights it gave into J.D. Vance's upbringing, and escape from the hillbilly culture. It was particularly relevant to the picture of American politics today with Trump at the helm. We could see instances of NZ culture in some of the descriptions (observations) he gave of certain parts of his family, friends, schooling and activities. An honest picture, told simply and easily read.

By: AUCK 020 2019-08-12 11:17:50
All members enjoyed it. The group asked me to comment on the excellent notes.

By: WHANG 008 2019-07-17 14:57:05
A fascinating look into a disadvantaged society by one of its own members. A thought-provoking discussion of what holds people back, and what helps them to move forward, although never totally free from the influences of their background.

By: DUNED 089 2019-07-17 14:55:11
Much to everyone's surprise, the group enjoyed this book!! It engendered great conversation regarding the 'characters' and the author's upbringing. The insight into Hillbilly life and their philosophy helped us get an understanding of the political issues and impact on the way they vote.

By: AUCK 331 2019-05-30 13:16:11
Easy to read. Intergenerational trauma, and nature versus nurture. Another story about yet another successful life in spite of history/education/impoverishment.

By: WAINU 001 2019-05-30 13:14:07
Very mixed reactions. Several disliked and didn't complete it but most found it extremely interesting, and a very thought-provoking read, and insight into the massive issues for those trapped in the Rust Belt of America.

By: ASHH 001 2019-05-30 13:09:20
A fascinating insight. A couple of members felt there was extraneous padding, while others felt the continual anecdotes re violence built up the portrayal of a culture and one particular life. Many questions arise upon reading the book - resilience and the ability to escape deprivation among them.

The Book Discussion 
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