Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Hillbilly Elegy, porch reading at Lakeside

JD Vance grew up in Middletown, OH and is the author of Hillbilly Elegy. While stationed in Iraq as a young Marine, he has an epiphany after seeing the delight of a young Iraqi boy over a small eraser.

"For my entire life, I'd harbored resentment at the world. I was mad at my mother and father, mad that I rode the bus to school while other kids caught rides with friends, mad that my clothes didn't come from Abercrombie, mad that my grandfather died, mad that we lived in a sm...all house. That resentment didn't vanish in an instant, but as I stood and surveyed the mass of children of a war-torn nation, their school without running water, and the overjoyed boy, I began to appreciate how lucky I was: born in the greatest country on earth, every modern convenience at my fingertips, supported by two loving hillbillies, and part of a family that, for all its quirks, loved me unconditionally. At that moment, I resolved to be the type of man who would smile when someone gave him an eraser. I haven't quite made it there, but without that day in Iraq, I wouldn't be trying." (p. 173-74)

I've read one review in the New York Times, and heard one review at Women's Club.  Both were condescending, and I think those authors missed the point of the book.

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