J.D. Vance, author of the best-selling book “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” and Middletown native, speaks to the crowd during the 2017 Alex & Lena Casper Memorial Lecture March 9 at Dave Finkelman Auditorium at Miami University Middletown campus in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Miami University’s summer reading book is work of Butler County native

“Hillbilly Elegy” is the story of Vance’s upbringing and family history in Middletown, Ohio, and Kentucky.

“The struggle to include all members of a diverse population in a dynamic society is described in personal terms but embraces broad themes that can be viewed in many contexts,” said John Jeep and Susan Hurst, summer reading program committee chairs, in a statement.

VIDEO: J.D. Vance gives talk at Miami University Middletown

“While this conversation is important on the national level, the local setting of the narrative provides an opportunity for our student body (from far-flung locations) to better understand their environs beyond the university,” they said in a statement.

The summer reading program has operated continuously since 1982 and plays a prominent role in Convocation — a special event that welcomes Miami’s incoming first-year class with a day of activities. This year’s convocation will be held Aug. 25.

MORE: Non-profit, new book in works for Middletown native J.D. Vance

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