First, two announcements:
1. The first annual Segullah Writing Reatreat is coming up on Saturday, June 26 in Salt Lake City. It’s going to be fantastic. Although Segullah’s audience is primarily female, the Writing Retreat is open to both women and men. The retreat also welcomes writers of all experience levels, from professional writers to bloggers to dabblers. You can’t beat the price–especially considering the tasty catered lunch and dinner offerings–and the company will be great, too. Join us!
2. Don’t forget that the deadline for Irreantum’s fiction and creative nonfiction contests is coming up soon. May 31st! So whip those stories and essays into shape and send them our way.
And now, instead of an announcement, a PROnouncement:
Brady Udall’s The Lonely Polygamist, which officially hit the shelves today, is going to be huge. I’m still not finished with my advance reading copy–the book’s over 600 pages long–but I haven’t been this excited about a novel in a good long time. Publisher’s Weekly recently called the novel “a serious contender for Great American Novel status,” and I can’t help agreeing. (Well, as much as the idea of the Great American Novel even exists, or ought to exist, as a construct.) The novel is sprawling and funny and heartwrenching and sad and insightful and full of charity for its fallible (and loveable) cast of characters. And, yes, there’s sex in it. And swearing. Not all Mormon readers will be able to get past some of these elements, it’s true. But for me? The novel is brimming with goodness and heart. And there’s some knock-your-socks off prose to admire as well. Like I said, I haven’t finished the novel, so don’t consider this my be-all-end-all review, but now that the book is officially available in stores I wanted to take this chance to encourage those interested in Mormon literature to scrape together twenty bucks and buy it. I’m certain the novel will get a good deal of attention from the national market, but I’m hopeful that Mormon readers will embrace it as well.