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Hardy talks ‘Hunger Games’

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Article Published: Mar. 19, 2012 | Modified: Mar. 30, 2012
Hardy talks ‘Hunger Games’

Author, teacher and literary critic Elizabeth Baird Hardy to lead a discussion on 'The Hunger Games' March 29 at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk.

Photo by Michael Hardy

Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk 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 bestselling “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.

The public is invited to join 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,” an event organizer said.

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.

Hardy, senior English instructor at Mayland Community College in Spruce Pine, has used “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).
This program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Meghan Wright at (828) 898-8729 or (

Lees-McRae College is located in Banner Elk.

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