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.

Appalachian Poverty

This book explores the invisible forces that shaped the region. 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.

The book is divided into three parts, using my personal narrative and the unfolding of my family’s three-hundred years history in Eastern Kentucky.

  • Part One explores how the invisible force of class has created an anger and bitterness in the region.
  • Part Two explores the historical forces that shaped the Appalachian region and the country.
  • Part Three explores how that history and those forces pushed against the Appalachian people to create a cauldron of poverty.

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Press + Media


  • DIY Author (June 2014): Chris Well interviewed Brad about a range of topics, including the Kickstarter-funded So Far Appalachia book and how he’s building a community around it as he writes.
  • Out of print writing (May 2014): Rowena Wiseman interviewed Brad about So Far Appalachia, and the idea of professionalized amateurism as a writer.Interviews

Appearances + Readings

  • Indy WordLab (December 2014): Led Indy WordLab at Indy Reads Books, which included readings from So Far Appalachia: My Memoir of American Mythology and The Summer of Run.
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