Wednesday, March 14, 2012

This Young Kentucky Writer

Gina, Pitty Pat and I had a great time Monday night.  We heard Silas House speak at West Kentucky Community & Technical College.  (Regular readers might remember my post of two or three years ago, Silas House:  A Man With Soulful Eyes, just after Suzanne, Pitty Pat and I met him at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville.)

I have read all of his books (my favorite is The Coal Tattoo). They are wonderful stories of family, love and loyalty. And very strong female characters.

Silas spoke about method writing and his use of music to get into the minds of his characters.  Later, he took questions from the audience and read passages from Eli the Good and his newest book, Same Sun Here, which he wrote in collaboration with New York City writer Neela Vaswani.

Although we are from opposite sides of the state and he is much younger, there are similarities between us.

We both grew up in storytelling families and lived near our grandparents and other relatives.  We knew everyone in the little communities in which we were born.  He, too, was subjected to hellfire-and-damnation sermons each Sunday morning and grew up obsessing about the Rapture. 

I wrote about my experiences in my short story, Lost, which will appear in the September issue of Barely South Review.  I worried incessantly about the day when I would be thrown into the fiery pits of hell where I would burn forever and ever without one drop of water for my parched tongue.  And I suspect Silas did the same.

Silas House is a wonderful human being and very talented.  I predict we will hear much more from this young Kentucky writer in the years to come.     


judy said...

I love Silas House too. It is true, southerners write so many intimate stories of everyday life. My grandmother was a great oral story teller about early life in Santa Barbara, CA. And working as a public health nurse with Mexican mothers crossing the border on foot to have their babies on American soil so they could be US citizens. So you see, the great migration has been going on for a long time. ( Often the babies were born in literal shacks with self appointed midwives. That is how strong the maternal urge was to give a child a chance at the great American dream.)

I went to Mexico with my grandmother when I was 16- if I ever get access again to my blog again, I will write about it. Her taxi driver in Guadalajara, Abel, (at birthing time every few years) he drove his wife all the way from Guadalajara to this side of the Texas border to have their child.

He was born in the USA in Los Angeles, and only lived in Guadalajara because his wife could not bear to leave her family. But he wanted to be assured his children had the opportunity to take advantage of their American citizenship.

I don't think most of the stories here are so fleshed out as in the south. We are a state of mostly immigrants- most from the other 49 states. It somehow waters down the history of the past. It becomes abbreviated. And I so enjoy your every piece about life in the old days. I myself was an Avon Rep for many years! And I do remember the little crown bottle my mother also had. From southeast to south west, You warm my heart with your beautiful stories. Thank you so much. (((hugs))) judy

Poorly written, but hey, you are so kind I know you will overlook my haste. Thank you again- and for your kind recognition of my sorrow at losing my husband's little dog.

Brenda said...

Thanks SO much, Judy. Your kind words warm my
heart. (And hugs to you!)

Brenda said...

P.S. I really enjoyed your family history!

All words and pictures © 2008 Brenda G. Wooley