A! Magazine for the Arts

Silas House

Silas House

Silas House speaks in Abingdon

May 29, 2018

In a special Saturday afternoon version of “Sunday with Friends,” Kentucky writer Silas House brings the book tour for his new novel “Southernmost” to Abingdon, Va., June 30 at 3 p.m. at the Washington County Virginia Public Library.

When a flood washes away much of a small community along the Cumberland River in Tennessee, Asher Sharp, an evangelical preacher there, starts to see his life anew. He has already lost a brother due to his inability to embrace his brother’s coming out of the closet. Now, in the aftermath of the flood, he tries to offer shelter to two gay men, but his wife resists the idea. Furious about her prejudice, Asher delivers a sermon where he passionately defends the right of gay people to exist without condemnation.

In the heated battle that ensues, Asher loses his job, his wife and custody of his son, Justin. As Asher worries over what will become of the boy, whom his wife is determined to control, he decides to kidnap Justin and take him to Key West, where he suspects that his estranged brother is now living. It’s there that Asher and Justin see a new way of thinking and loving.

“Southernmost” is a tender and heartbreaking novel about love and its consequences, both within the South and beyond.

House is best known for his novels “Clay’s Quilt,” “A Parchment of Leaves,” and “The Coal Tattoo.” He is also a music journalist, environmental activist and columnist. House’s fiction is known for its attention to the natural world, working class characters and the plight of the rural place and rural people.

House is the National Endowment for the Humanities Chair in Appalachian Studies at Berea College.

Book sale and signing follows. Refreshments served. Sunday with Friends is sponsored by the Friends of the Washington County Library. For more information, call 276-676-6298 or visit www.wcpl.net.