He could easily be accused of succumbing to the grand statement, but author JEFF BIGGERS strikes a helluva chord with his debut work, The United States of Appalachia: How Southern Mountaineers Brought Independence, Culture, and Enlightenment to America. If nothing else, Biggers' book lays waste to the beaten-to-death stereotype of Appalachia and its people as devoid of anything resembling intelligence, creativity or activism. Where America's mass media and historians have seen banjo pickers, in-breeding and ignorance, Biggers sees driving forces behind some of the most important events and people of American history. For example, while William Lloyd Garrison is considered one of the founding fathers of emancipation, Biggers notes it was an Appalachian who inspired the abolitionist to join the cause. Biggers appears at Charis Books & More on Sat., OCT. 27, to read and sign copies of his book. Free. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. 1189 Euclid Ave. 404-524-0304. charis.booksense.com.