Global Issues Gauging poverty from Appalachia to Africa

A Monitor correspondent, who grew up in West Virginia, discusses the poverty she's seen firsthand while working as a journalist in Africa.

When New Yorkers find out I grew up in West Virginia, they often ask if I've read "The Glass Castle." Jeannette Walls's memoir, on The New York Times bestseller list for an absurd 288 weeks now, is about growing up poor. At one point she lived in Welch, W.Va., where her house leaks and freezes, where she makes her lunch out of sandwiches kids throw away in the bathroom at school – and some days that's all she eats.