Episode 27: Silas House
Silas House is the nationally bestselling author of five novels and one book of creative nonfiction. His sixth novel, Southernmost, is out June 5 and has recently been selected as a Southern Living Best Book of Summer, an Indie Next Pick, and a recommended selection of the Southern Independent Booksellers Association. Silas’ work frequently appears in The New York Times and Salon, and has also appeared in Oxford American, Narrative, Garden and Gun, Newsday and various anthologies. He serves on the fiction faculty at the Spalding MFA in Creative Writing and as the NEH Chair at Berea College, and his honors include the Nautilus Award, the EB White Award, and the Appalachian Book of the Year.
Discussed In This Episode
Fictionalizing Appalachia. The advantages and challenges of writing child characters. "As a novelist, you want as much trouble as possible." Growing up Fundamentalist and writing belief and doubt. Pre-writing. Writing from the news. The question that leads to the plot. Being a gay Appalachian. "I think we are raised to leave." The comfort and oppression of familiarity. Write the book you want to read. Fitting the work into the chaos. Stopping when you know where to go next. The Appalachian Writers' Workshop. "Writing that is just therapy is not good writing." Creation is painful. It gets harder, not easier. Academia and Southern accents. Writing that empowers.
Some links may be affiliate. Thank you for supporting WMFA.
Thank you to WMFA patrons Jack Cheng, Jonathan Cottrell, André Gallant, Donna Hidock and Katie Karlson for sponsoring this episode. Become a patron.