‘Glass Castle’s’ Jeannette Walls: I Get Why Trump Won, Why Don’t Others?

By Gary Thompson
The Philadelphia Inquirer

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Neither Trump’s rise nor his connection to red state voters surprised Jannette Walls author of the best seller “The Glass Castle”, a memoir of growing up poor in Appalachia.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

After President Donald Trump’s unexpected victory, a consternated press corps seeking to understand the outcome repeatedly consulted “Hillbilly Elegy” by memoirist J.D. Vance for insight into the mind of the rural voter.

It’s funny they didn’t consider Jeannette Walls, who also wrote a memoir of growing up poor in Appalachia – the best seller “The Glass Castle” – and who in addition personally knew Trump in her life as a New York magazine gossip columnist.

Neither Trump’s rise nor his connection to red state voters surprised Walls.

“I hesitate to say this, but he got me. And I got him. The first time he ever gave me an item and I reported on it, he called and said, ‘That isn’t the story I gave you.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, but it’s the story.’ And there’s this long pause, and he said, ‘We can work together,’ ” recalled Walls, who stopped in Philadelphia recently to talk about her life and her book, recently adapted into a movie.

Walls (played in the movie by Brie Larson) spoke of her life growing up poor, raised by parents (in the film, Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts) who encouraged self-reliance to a dangerous degree. Those experiences coated her with some pretty thick armor, which in some ways served her well.

As a budding journalist in New York, folks warned her that life as a gossip columnist could be tough.

“People will yell at you and treat you horribly and threaten you, and I thought, ‘So? That’s the way I was raised,’ ” she said.

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