NEW YORK – A second book by “Hillbilly Elegy” author and U.S. Senate candidate JD Vance that had been under contract with Harper has been called off, the publisher told The Associated Press Thursday.
The book, currently listed on Amazon.com and until recently on the HarperCollins Publishers web site, is called “A Relevant Faith: Searching for a Meaningful American Christianity." The imprint Harper never formally announced the book, listed at 320 pages and with different release dates on different sites, but did confirm a deal had been agreed upon.
“Harper and Mr. Vance mutually agreed some time ago not to move forward with the previously-contracted book,” a spokesperson told the AP. The publisher declined to say when the book was dropped, or why.
Vance converted to Catholicism in 2019, saying at the time that he had grown up without a strong attachment to any branch of Christianity, but “became persuaded over time that Catholicism was true.”
A spokesperson for Vance did not immediately respond Thursday to a request for comment, including whether Vance might release the book through a different publisher.
Vance, who prevailed this week in a bitter Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in Ohio, became a national celebrity with the best-selling “Hillbilly Elegy.” His memoir about growing up in the struggling Ohio steel mill city of Middletown and his roots in Appalachian Kentucky was signed up by Harper in 2013 and published months before Donald Trump's stunning victory in 2016. But during and after the election, it was sought by those who wondered about Trump's appeal to rural communities that once voted Democratic.
In 2020, “Hillbilly Elegy” was made into an Oscar nominated movie directed by Ron Howard and starring Amy Adams and Glenn Close.
Vance had been a sharp critic of Trump, but shifted his views and was endorsed during the primary by the former president. He will face Democrat Tim Ryan, a 10-term congressman, in the general election race to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman.