Graham Hoppe - "Gone Dollywood"

Thursday, July 19, 2018 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Graham Hoppe

"Different from other works on Dollywood, Hoppe’s volume is neither a tour guide nor a Parton biography—readers looking for such will be disappointed. Instead, he deftly examines the culture of Appalachia, specifically in East Tennessee, how it fits in with the greater Southern story (or not), and how all of this together with Parton’s genuineness overflow into Dollywood, creating an attraction that makes thousands of people a year feel at home whether they are from the South or not.” Library Journal

“Gone Dollywood is a landmark study. Graham Hoppe eloquently explains why Dollywood draws thousands of visitors each year and captures East Tennessee worlds in significant ways. This fine book, like Dolly Parton, will touch the heart of its readers.” William Ferris, author of The South in Color: A Visual Journal

Graham Hoppe discusses, Gone Dollywood: Dolly Parton's Mountain Dream. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion. 

At 57th Street Books

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the book: Dolly Parton isn’t just a country music superstar. She has built an empire. At the heart of that empire is Dollywood, a 150-acre fantasy land that hosts three million people a year. Parton’s prodigious talent and incredible celebrity have allowed her to turn her hometown into one of the most popular tourist destinations in America. The crux of Dollywood’s allure is its precisely calibrated Appalachian image, itself drawn from Parton’s very real hardscrabble childhood in the mountains of east Tennessee.

What does Dollywood have to offer besides entertainment? What do we find if we take this remarkable place seriously? How does it both confirm and subvert outsiders’ expectations of Appalachia? What does it tell us about the modern South, and in turn what does that tell us about America at large? How is regional identity molded in service of commerce, and what is the interplay of race, gender, and class when that happens?

In Gone Dollywood, Graham Hoppe blends tourism studies, celebrity studies, cultural analysis, folklore, and the acute observations and personal reflections of longform journalism into an unforgettable interrogation of Southern and American identity.

About the author: Graham Hoppe writes about culture and history with a focus on food, music, and tourism. He is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the folklore program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His work has appeared in Southern Cultures, Ethnic American Food Today, and The Southern Foodways Alliance. Raised in Indiana, Graham currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. His first book, Gone Dollywood, is available now from Ohio University Press.

Event Location: 
57th Street Books
1301 E 57th St.
Chicago, IL 60637