Canisius Welcomes Bestselling Author Silas House

March 27, 2023
Silas House

            Canisius University welcomes nationally bestselling author Silas House to campus on Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at 5:30 pm in the Montante Cultural Center.

House’s talk, titled “Complicated Love: On Appalachia” is free and open to the public.  The event is presented under the auspices of the college’s William H. Fitzpatrick Chair of Political Science Lecture Series.

House is an acclaimed multi-award-winning and “New York Times” bestselling novelist.  Most recently, he received the 2023 Southern Book Prize in Fiction for his novel, “Lark Ascending.” The novel was a SIBA bestseller and has also been chosen as a “Booklist” Editor’s Choice, one of “Salon’s” favorite books of the year, one of “Garden and Gun’s” selections for Best Southern Books of 2022, and as a top ten most recommended book by independent booksellers across the nation in the monthly Indie Next List.

House is the author of six additional novels—“Clay’s Quilt,” 2001; “A Parchment of Leaves,” 2003; “The Coal Tattoo,” 2005; “Eli the Good,” 2009; “Same Sun Here” (co-authored with Neela Vaswani) 2012; and “Southernmost,” 2018—as well as a book of creative nonfiction—“Something’s Rising,” co-authored with Jason Howard, 2009; and three plays.

He serves as the NEH Chair of Appalachian Studies at Berea College, on the fiction faculty at the Naslund-Mann School of Creative Writing at Spalding University in Louisville, and as a series editor for Fireside Industries at the University Press of Kentucky.

House is a former commentator for NPR’s “All Things Considered.” His writing has appeared recently in “Time,” “The Atlantic,” “Ecotone,” “The Advocate,” “Garden and Gun,” and “Oxford American.” As a music journalist, House has worked with artists such as Kacey Musgraves, Kris Kristofferson, Lucinda Williams, Jason Isbell, Leann Womack, Tyler Childers, and many others. He is also the host of the popular podcast “On the Porch.”

A member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, House is the recipient of three honorary doctorates, and is the winner of the Nautilus Award, an EB White Award, the Appalachian Book of the Year, the Storylines Prize from the New York Public Library/NAV Foundation, the Lee Smith Award, and many other honors, including an invitation to read at the Library of Congress.

           Last year he was chosen for the Duggins Prize, the largest award for an LGBT writer in the nation. He was the recipient of the Governor’s Award from Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear for his service to the arts in his home state in 2021, and in 2020, he was chosen as the Appalachian of the Year in a nationwide poll.

           House was an executive producer and one of the subjects of the documentary “Hillbilly,” which is now available on Hulu. The film won the Audience Award from the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Media Award from the Foreign Press Association.

House graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a bachelor of arts degree in English, specializing in American literature. He earned a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Spalding University.

The Fitzpatrick Lecture Series at Canisius is part of the larger Fitzpatrick Institute of Public Affairs and Leadership at the college, which provides an array of opportunities for Canisius students to develop leadership potential through close contact with and exposure to those who contribute to American public affairs and societal issues. 

The Institute and the Fitzpatrick Lecture Series are named for William H. Fitzpatrick, a South Buffalo builder and longtime chair of the Erie County Democratic Party.  His sons, Paul E. and Walter D. Fitzpatrick, endowed the Fitzpatrick programming at Canisius in 1958, in memory of their father. A few years later, in 1962, the Hon. Harry S. Truman, 33rd president of the United States, inaugurated the Fitzpatrick Lecture Series at Canisius. Each year since, the college has hosted national figures in politics, government, academia and media, including Jane Goodall, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Bernice King, all under the auspices of the Fitzpatrick family.

For more information, please contact Richard A. Bailey, PhD, Fitzpatrick professor of history at (716) 888-2684 or @email.

One of 27 Jesuit universities in the nation, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York. Canisius prepares leaders – intelligent, caring, faithful individuals – able to pursue and promote excellence in their professions, their communities and their service to humanity.