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Elizabeth Hardy leads discussion on The Hunger Games at Lees-McRae, March 29

March 18, 2012. BANNER ELK – Lees-McRae College will host author, teacher, and literary critic Elizabeth Baird Hardy to lead a discussion on the Suzanne Collins novel, The Hunger Games, March 29 at 7 p.m. in the Stafford Room of the Carson Library.

With the upcoming film release on March 23 and the use of numerous western North Carolina sites and talent, the novel has garnered growing interest in the past year. In addition, the novel resonates with themes of Appalachian culture, values, and history. Filming sites include Asheville and the Pisgah National Forest, along with Hildebran, Charlotte and Shelby.

In the future country of Panem, created by Suzanne Collins for her best-selling Hunger Games trilogy, District 12 is often treated as inferior, exploited for its natural resources even as its people are starved, mistreated, and ridiculed.  In crafting the fictional home of fiery protagonist Katniss Everdeen, Collins draws artfully upon the actual history, culture, and geography of Appalachia to create a different kind of Appalachian novel and Appalachian heroine.

Come join author and teacher Elizabeth Baird Hardy for insights into the way The Hunger Games echoes the past and present of the ancient and haunting Appalachian Mountains. From the plants to the songs, from the food to the mines, the world of Katniss Everdeen will come alive, and you may never look at District 12 the same way again.

Assistant Librarian Donese Preswood invited Hardy to Lees-McRae College to lead the discussion on The Hunger Games, a novel Preswood will distribute to 20 local students on World Book Night April 23. World Book Night is a celebration of reading and books which will see tens of thousands of people share books with others in their communities across America to spread the joy and love of reading.

Hardy, the Senior English Instructor at Mayland Community College in Spruce Pine, has used the novel The Hunger Games in her English 111 course for two years, and is fresh off a visit to Arizona State University where she spoke to the Honors College about the novel’s connection with the Appalachian Mountains. Hardy was named Mayland’s Outstanding Faculty Member in 2006 and currently edits its new creative journal, Gateways.

A scholar who specializes in speculative fiction from Spenser to Lewis to Rowling, Hardy has written about the Twilight novels and made contributions to the study of the world of Harry Potter. Academic contributions include Milton, Spenser, and the Chronicles of Narnia: Literary Sources for the C.S. Lewis Novels (McFarland, 2006), Twilight and History (Wiley, 2010), Harry Potter for Nerds (Unlocking Press, 2011) and Star Trek and History (Wiley, to be published in 2013).

A storyteller and historic interpreter, Hardy brings “to life history, literature, and Appalachian culture for students and audiences.” She is married to Michael C. Hardy who is an award winning historian. She works closely with her husband who is a Civil War author and historian and made contributions to his works. She also contributes to Carolina Mountain Life, a local publication. The Hardys live in Crossnore.

This program is free and open to the public.  For more information, contact Meghan Wright at 828-898-8729 or wrightm@lmc.edu.