So Far Appalachia
So Far Appalachia, a creative nonfiction memoir, is the first book to make sense of the question so many people have asked after the election of President Donald Trump: Why did so many of the rural, white working class vote for somebody that seems to hate them? What this book isn’t is a tome meant to gloss over the problems of race and gender in the region. This isn’t an apologist’s book. Instead, the book’s focus is explaining how class differences have shaped this country in ways that we aren’t very good at discussing.
To answer that first question and explore those invisible forces, this personal narrative follows the story of my family settling Clay County, Kentucky, which today is the poorest county in the country and that was labeled as “The Hardest Place to Live in America” by the The New York Times. The story uses my family to explain and illuminate Appalachia and tell a story about why region exists in a state of perpetual poverty.