The first finalist in Everyday Mormon Writer‘s “Four Centuries of Mormon Stories” contest is Melissa Leilani Larson’s “Little Karl,”which is based on real events in Larson’s family history. Because the stories are relatively short and publicly accessible, this contest gives us an opportunity to talk about specific works we can all be familiar with. We’ll be holding a discussion of each finalist on a different blog starting with a discussion of “Little Karl” here today.
Some opening questions:
What are you initial responses to this story?
How do you see this story interacting with the larger genre of pioneer stories?
Scott Hales recently posted a challenge to Mormon writers and critics “to reflect more deeply, meaningfully, and aggressively on the ‘ongoing negotiations’ between Mormonism and the world.” Where does our history and mythos of persecution fit into our contemporary engagement with the larger society? Is this mythos a barrier to or an asset in productive contemporary writing about Mormons and the larger societies they inhabit?