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Kat Saunders

Member Since 27 Jul 2004
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 06:53 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: What Book Are You Reading Now?

16 February 2018 - 08:49 PM

The Art of Memoir-Mary Karr (reading it to help me focus on thesis stuff. most of it's fairly rudimentary, but it's engagingly written)


Gold Fame Citrus-Claire Vaye Watkins. I've already been sucked into the novel's world. 60 pages in and devouring it.

In Topic: What Book Are You Reading Now?

13 February 2018 - 07:48 PM

thoughts on Hillbilly Elegy, since you'd asked. 3 stars out of 5--mainly because of the first half. He's going to be on campus next week so I might attend.


If nothing else, this book has opened up conversations about Appalachian identities and regional crises. The first half of the book is a compelling portrait of the narrator's unstable childhood, featuring two well-rendered maternal figures: Mom and Mamaw. Vance's family mythology is riveting stuff, and I would have been content to see the book end with his first escape from Middletown. 

Indeed, the book veers off course once Vance pursues his education at both Ohio State and Yale. Instead of scenes, Vance relies on too much narrative summary. As riveting as the memoir's first half was, the second half feels rushed, less developed, and more abstract (to the memoir's detriment). 

Most troublingly are Vance's ideas for improving conditions for Appalachians. He invokes his own personal success as evidence that a similar path is possible for anyone who simply wants it and is disciplined enough. If only it were as simple as Vance might have readers believe. . . 

Ultimately, Vance's nuanced understanding of his own familial dynamics does not seem to extend to his analysis of social circumstances affecting Appalachia more broadly. Vance dismisses struggling individuals as lazy, "welfare queens," addicts, abusers, and more--perpetuating stereotypes about the region without offering a tangible remedy, or even much compassion. His success is something to be applauded, but his "pull yourself up your bootstraps" mentality strikes me as irresponsible, unhelpful rhetoric

In Topic: What Book Are You Reading Now?

02 February 2018 - 09:12 AM

Great lines!


I'm reading Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance, which has been VERY controversial here in WV and southern OH. The press I work for is actually publishing a collection of essays in response to the book since it's generated so much conversation. I'm trying to keep an open mind.

In Topic: Cell Phones Banned from Tour

24 January 2018 - 11:49 PM

On the one hand, it's super irritating to be near people who are glued to their phones. I get that some people might want to snap a quick photo, but do so and put the phone away.


On the other, I'd be unlikely to attend a show where I'd be forced to relinquish my phone. First, I'd be worried about actually getting my phone back. Then, especially as a woman, I'd probably worry about my own safety without my phone. What about parents who leave their kids with the sitter for the night? Friends who get separated? I know people used to figure this shit out on their own before cell phones, but it presents a problem for those who have never lived without cell phones.


I don't know... I just don't think there's a good solution to this. The phone issue is REAL. The need for phones (not for documenting the show) is REAL too.

In Topic: What Was The Last Movie You Saw?

22 January 2018 - 09:19 AM

Big Eyes. I really enjoyed it. I almost didn't realize it was a Tim Burton movie--probably why I enjoyed it so much.