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An Evening with Sarah Smarsh

Journalist and author of She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs and Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth (Finalist, National Book Award 2018)

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

WHERE: tbd (online)

Anyone who wishes to understand our deep national divisions must also understand the complex interactions of economic inequality, class identity, and rural America. Few writers can provide that understanding – through careful research and their own upbringing among the white working poor – like Sarah Smarsh. On Thursday, Nov 12, Smarsh will deliver a livestream lecture open to the UT community.

The event is FREE; registration is required. The event is sponsored by The Michener Center for Writers, the Moody College Honors Program, the Plan II Honors Program, and the Department of American Studies.

Smarsh has reported on socioeconomic class for The Guardian, the New York TimesThe New YorkerHarper’s and many other publications. She is a regular political commentator in national media and has spoken internationally on poverty, rural issues, and cultural divides. She was recently a Fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. In 2019, she released a podcast entitled The Homecomers, which focuses on how a national blind spot toward rural and working-class America is driving misleading headlines, broken politics, and dangerous fissures in our social fabric.

Due out in October, her new bookShe Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs, is an “affectionate and astute cultural study,” according to Publisher’s Weekly, “with luminescent prose and briskly tempered storytelling.” The book follows the success of Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, which was a finalist for the National Book Award.

CONTACT: Dave Junker (junker@austin.utexas.edu)