Country Noir

Have you watched the Netflix film Hillbilly Elegy? I haven't seen it. I've seen reviews which seem to say the same thing - the interpretation is incorrect. That the lived experience of that demographic has been glamorised for entertainment purposes.

Here are two books which centre white American communities living in extreme poverty, and very much do not glamorise. These books (particularly Young God, but both) come with serious trigger warnings. Violence, rape, child abuse, drug abuse, criminal activity. I read Young God a few years ago and was surprised to find a copy recently... the chapters are often one paragraph or just a page, and to me that quite literally felt like blacking out (which the main character does often). Both books have teenage, female protagonists who you could imagine as Ruth from Ozarks (especially because Winter's Bone is actually set in Missouri, the author born and raised in the Ozarks and affectionately known for writing 'Country Noir').

Have you seen the film? Have you read either of these books? Would love to know your thoughts!

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