"Every student of writing in the country needs this book!"
-- Liz Bussey Fentress
Evolution of an American Play
offers a unique look inside the life & work
of one of America's finest authors
photo by Tim Webb
ISBN    978-1-934894-05-7
120 pages
Click the author's image to connect to his website
Good people are talking about
Silas' writing is very special to me. His voice and characters run
true and clear, like a mountain stream after the thaw, with flashes
of insight so startlingly resonant and beautiful, they call to mind a
cardinal alighting in a winter birch.
--Ashley Judd, actor
(Double Jeopardy; Come Early Morning)
Teachers, dramatists and others will find good uses for this script and the
accompanying notes, essay and short story -- not the least of which will be
the sheer pleasure of reading them.
--Anne Shelby, playwright
(Lone Pilgrim: Songs &Stories of Aunt Molly Jackson;
Passing through the Garden; The Adventures of Molly Whuppie)
The 1950s saw a mass exodus from the coalfields of Appalachia to cities in the North. Mountain
families and communities were torn apart or vanished when jobs disappeared.  Much has been said
and written about leaving home, but few stories tell of the lonesome heartache and yearning to return
again better than Silas House's
THE HURTING PART. We are pulled into an everyday drama as a
small family struggles through tragedy and loss to right itself.  Excellent storytelling in the mountain
tradition.  Sadness, tragedy, heartache, and determination laced with dry humor can make for
compelling drama in the hands of the right traveler.  Silas House weaves a family story into a great
dramatic gift.
--Jack Wright, film professor & record producer
(Ohio University School of Film; Music Of Coal)
Every student of writing in the country needs this book!  It’s a
“twofer.” First, Silas House generously demonstrates how to
fictionalize a personal story for use in an essay, a short story,
and a play. As a bonus, you get his writing – his poetic use of
language, his rich characters, and a beautiful Christmas story
about the importance of connections. This stunning collection
will live in the hearts and minds of readers, writers, students,
and teachers for years to come.  Bravo!
--Liz Bussey Fentress, playwright/director
(Liz’s Circus Story; The Honey Harvest)
Like his novels, House’s play shows a deep sense of
place and humanity... A story told with deep respect
and honesty for the people it portrayed.... In theater,
House has found another medium in which he speaks
very well.
--Rich Copley, Lexington Herald-Leader drama critic
(from a review of THE HURTING PART world premiere, 2005)
The Hurting Part: Evolution of an American Play
From earliest memory, author Silas House recalls his aunt Sis telling one particular family story every Christmas.  
Eventually, the tale found its way into the author's fiction.
This book explores that process ... and presents the story itself as told by the author in three different genres.
Includes photos and the author's production notes from the world premiere.
(the author, Christmas 1973)
Other works by Silas House:
A Parchment Of Leaves
Clay's Quilt
The Coal Tattoo
Something's Rising
Two Stories
Eli The Good
back to ...
(c) 2012
Two of Silas House's
characters from
came to life when
the script had its
world premiere in
2005. The women
were based on the
author's mother and
his aunt.

photo Tim Collins
"The hurting part of life is still life."

In this multi-disciplinary book, bestselling novelist Silas House takes us through the process of storytelling in its many different forms.
This book includes House’s moving short story “An Unsent Letter,” and the play, The Hurting Part, that was based on the same family tale
and is available in print here for the first time. Both are about one pivotal winter in the lives of Thelma and Simeon Smallwood. Faced with
a gnawing homesickness that leads to emotional explosions both quiet and fierce, “An Unsent Letter” and The Hurting Part reveal that
desire which joins us all: the need for a home among people we cherish.  Two additional pieces – a revealing essay about process and an
enlightening interview with the author – complete this collection that is not only an exploration of different disciplines but also an
insightful and original tool for anyone interested in the craft of writing. There’s good advice here, too, for anyone who simply wants to
know how to go through life with what House calls “a fully conscious heart.”
The Hurting Part
Evolution of an American Play

This book of beautiful writing is also an insightful volume about the art of writing.  In the various sections of THE HURTING PART:
, Silas House presents his three-act drama The Hurting Part alongside its full literary and
developmental context.  The book contains not only the full-length script, but also the short story from which the play evolved.  Also
included are a thorough interview in which House describes his writing process, and there's an analytical essay by the author discussing how
the two fictional works originated from one of his family's often-repeated stories.  Personal vignettes about the author, his family, and the
play's premiere are woven into the literary and cultural fabric of the book.  House offers solid insight on the Appalachian dialect, with which
he has had a lifetime of experience.  He also describes some of the influences that other playwrights and novelists have injected into his own
THE HURTING PART: EVOLUTION OF AN AMERICAN PLAY includes photographic images of the author, his family, and
scenes from the world premiere.  This book is not to be missed by fans of Silas House's writing.  It is essential for anyone who teaches,
studies or appreciates good writing and where it comes from.
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