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Author Elizabeth Catte to be at Clifton Forge Public Library

Clifton Forge, VA (April 12, 2018) - The public is cordially invited to spend an evening with author Elizabeth Catte. Her program will be held in the Michael Armstrong Community Room of the Clifton Forge Public Library. It will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, April 23.

Ms. Catte is the author of “What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia.” Written as a rebuttal to J.D. Vance’s “New York Times” best seller “Hillbilly Elegy,” Ms. Catte takes a critical look at Vance’s tendency to use “radical history to challenge perceptions of the region as a hub of white, working-class woe.”

She continues, “To understand ‘Hillbilly Elegy,’ I think you have to first go to the subtitle of the book, which is ‘A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis.’ I have nothing good or bad to say about the way that the story of this family is presented within the book. But what … is a memoir of culture? This is not a ‘thing that exists, and it’s not a thing that people write. So when I criticize and critique ‘Hillbilly Elegy,’ I’m doing it specifically from that reference point.”

Additionally, Catte’s program will analyze current trends in writing about Appalachia. She will present a brief history of Appalachia with a special emphasis on Appalachian stereotypes. She will also provide examples of writing, art, and policy that have been created by Appalachians rather than produced for them.

Elizabeth “grew up in east Tennessee, which is central Appalachia.” She is a public historian and writer based in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. She has a Ph.D. in public history with a dissertation on historical memory and reparations. In addition to acquiring work in Appalachian Studies and public history for West Virginia University Press, Catte is the Director of Passel, a socially-conscious historical consulting firm. “We offer pro-bono grant writing, research, and development assistance to community organizations, non-profits, and unions in Appalachia,” Catte says.

Ms. Catte’s program will conclude with a book signing. Copies of her book will be available for purchase.

Admission is free.

The Friends of the Library will provide light refreshments.

The Clifton Forge Public Library is located at 535 Church Street.

For information on any library program, call 863-2519.

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