"People are complex, history is complex, regions and politics are complex. You really want to be wary of narratives that offer you all the answers in a bite-sized package." Elizabeth Catte. In a new interview posted today on The Outline, Elizabeth Catte talks with Ann-Derrick Gaillot about the untold stories of the 2016 election season, why affluent white Americans have always believed in a poor white Appalachia, and what it would take for her to go see the new "Hillbilly Elegy" movie. And more, of course. Read the full interview here.
"I try to push back on the idea that Appalachia is a monolith, that it can be explained in the identity of a single family or a single election. There are and were people here who are progressive, who are environmentalists, who are creative, who are fighting corporate exploitation." Elizabeth Catte. New interview in Cincinnati Magazine with Elizabeth Catte is out today! Check it out here. Photo by Aaron M. Conway.
"Essays that are...unrelenting in their frank, even painful, descriptions and assessments of one of America’s most devastated lands." Kirkus Reviews. A new review out from Kirkus calls forthcoming anthology Voices From the Rust Belt "a voice that is telling you something significant, something you really ought to know—and need to understand." The anthology collects essays previously published in Belt Magazine and Belt city anthologies. Coming April 3 from Picador. Preorder from your local bookseller here!
The Virginia Festival of the Book is held annually in Charlottesville, VA to celebrate literature, books, and reading. On March 24th, catch the event "Appalachia: Contemporary Portrayals" with Elizabeth Catte and authors Steven Stoll (Ramp Hollow: The Ordeal of Appalachia) and Wendy Welch (Fall or Fly: The Strangely Hopeful Story of Foster Care and Adoption in Appalachia). Welch is also a contributor to Belt's upcoming anthology Red State Blues: Stories from Midwestern Life on the Left. The event is free to attend, family friendly, and does not require a ticket. More information is available here. Bring books for our authors to sign!
"It’s been called Trump Country, coal country and backcountry. But it’s our country." Elizabeth Catte was recently a featured guest on NPR's program 1A for their episode "Elegies and Effigies: Who Speaks for Appalachia?" In conversation with West Virginian radio producer Roxy Todd, author Steve Almond, and artist & poet Crystal Good, she talked about representation, stereotypes, and (of course) the trouble with self-appointed Appalachian spokesperson JD Vance and his memoir Hillbilly Elegy. Listen to the full episode here.