Tag Archives: Realism in literature

Realishness and Realizing Realism

I write across a fair number of genres. Each form prides itself on telling True Stories that move beyond mere accuracy to expose underlying Reality. Even writers of “realistic” fiction carefully sift the many real and accurate possible details to find the one they perceive as most (contextually) powerful or interesting—leaving an awful lot of realism unrealized in any story.

This is not a rant against the definition of “real” or “true;” rather it’s a personal exploration of the usefulness of varied viewpoints in collision with the conventions of genre and the marketplace. Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, Personal Narratives, Storytelling and Community, The Writer's Desk, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Literature and the Challenge of The Mormon People

Matthew Bowman’s The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith, published earlier this year by Random House, is possibly the best overview of Mormon history that I’ve read. Written for scholars and general readers alike, the book situates Mormonism … Continue reading

Posted in Mormon LitCrit | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

In Defense of Grumpiness: A Review of “Brothers,” “Quietly,” and A Roof Overhead

Update 18 Aug 2012: In the comments, Mahonri Stewart responds to my critiques of his piece. In the interest of fairness, I encourage anyone who reads this review to also take a look at his comments. I happen to agree … Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, Mormon LitCrit | Tagged , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Unintended Consequence—Loss of the “Safe” Genre

Since YA is becoming increasingly less “safe,” what replaces it for those readers who consider aesthetic safety as their first filter for book selection? Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, YA corner | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

Mysterious Doings: Poison and the Pen With Gregg Luke

*Gregg Luke is a Pharmacist by day and a writer of medical thrillers by night, weekends, and lunch breaks. His books have pioneered a new genre in the LDS suspense market, specifically intended for those readers who want a good … Continue reading

Posted in Action & Suspense, Mysterious Doings | Tagged , | 3 Comments

YA Corner: Because Wrong is Interesting

Recently, one of our librarians recounted a conversation he had overheard in the teen stacks.  A teenager and her mother were looking for books for the girl when they came across a popular vampire series.   The young woman pleaded with … Continue reading

Posted in YA corner | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Mormons, Masks, and Mommy Blogs

By now, you’ve probably seen Emily Matchar’s article “Why I can’t stop reading Mormon housewife blogs.” (Her tagline: “I’m a young feminist atheist who can’t bake a cupcake. Why am I addicted to the shiny, happy lives of these women?”) … Continue reading

Posted in Storytelling and Community, The Writer's Desk | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

I Am Jane (with a little Levinas)

I wrote the play I Am Jane a decade ago, and we had our premiere performance in an LDS chapel for the Genesis Group meeting. We turned the sacrament table into a deathbed and the choir seats into a pioneer camp. … Continue reading

Posted in Mormon LitCrit, On-stage, The Past through Literature | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Populist’s Soapbox: LDS Fiction: It’s Not Just LDS Anymore

Last week a Deseret News reporters interviewed me about Band of Sisters and the Flat Daddy Project. I’ve done several interviews recently, but this particular reporter asked something no one had yet. Her question, and my answer to it, have … Continue reading

Posted in The Populist's Soapbox | Tagged , | 4 Comments

What Offends the Mormon Reader?

In an earlier post here at the AML Blog (and again during a panel discussion at last weekend’s AML Conference) Chris Bigelow admitted that even though Seagull Book had requested ordering information on the anthology I edited, Dispensation: Latter-Day Fiction, … Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, Mormon LitCrit | Tagged , , , , | 35 Comments