Category Archives: Storytelling and Community

Mormon Literature and the Anxiety of “Passing”

In literature, a character’s ability to move unnoticed from one social group to another, often more privileged group is called “passing.” In Disney’s Mulan, for example, the title character “passes” for a man so that she can take her aging … Continue reading

Posted in Mormon LitCrit, Storytelling and Community | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Windmill Variations: In Defense of Message-Driven Fiction

I suspect inopportune literalism is the primary limiting factor in my confusion as to why good fiction must not, dare not, shall not contain a message. I read the books that others tell me are “good” and I see messages aplenty, and more often than not I see aggressive arguments for particular viewpoints. Scout may pretend to be unformed and open-minded, but “To Kill A Mockingbird” leaves no doubts about what the author believes are better (and lesser) moral conclusions through her voice. Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, Storytelling and Community, The Populist's Soapbox, The Writer's Desk | Tagged | 3 Comments

I’m ready for a party. Let’s have two.

We talk about Mormon Literature a lot on this blog–what with it being the blog topic and all. But it’s time we did more than talk. Friends, it is time to step up. And celebrate.

Posted in Storytelling and Community | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Novelist Nephi; or Why We Still Need the “Author of ‘Added Upon’”

In less than a week I will be traveling to Salt Lake City to spend a week in the Church History Library with the Nephi Anderson papers. To prepare, I have been reading Anderson’s novels and short stories and making … Continue reading

Posted in Storytelling and Community | Tagged , , , , , , | 19 Comments

One Man’s Meditation: Merlin, Motivation and Letting Go

It seems to me that we are in the midst of a rather startling expansion of our traditional concepts of Mormon literature. There’s an active effort going on to expand the possibilities, to rethink what we can and should be doing with our unique voices and viewpoints. A lot of it makes me uncomfortable, but the more I consider it the more I think it’s a useful discomfort… Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, Personal Narratives, Storytelling and Community | 17 Comments

Mormon Characters in Mormon Literature

I recently finished reading THE SCHOLAR OF MOAB, by Steven L. Peck, which received the AML Novel Award for last year, and I want to say, first of all, that the writing in this book is wonderful. The characters are … Continue reading

Posted in Mormon LitCrit, Storytelling and Community | Tagged | 37 Comments

Moderating AML Blog

Most of the time, moderating the AML blog is a fairly easy job. I line up potential contributors, then send out reminder notices. I help out every now and then when people having difficulty posting. (To the limit of my … Continue reading

Posted in Announcements, Storytelling and Community | 11 Comments

Mormon Lit and Other Nineteenth-Century Religions’ Lit

Many of our recurring discussions about Mormon Lit try to measure how the field is doing and how it is likely to do within our lifetimes. We return again and again to the economics of literature written for Mormons, to … Continue reading

Posted in Mormon LitCrit, Storytelling and Community | 18 Comments

Race, Culture, White Guilt, and Mormon Letters

Several of my mom’s siblings were in town this weekend, including two brothers from England, so we had our Goldberg family seder at my grandma’s house with two dozen members of the Gill clan in attendance. Because we had lots … Continue reading

Posted in International Scene, Storytelling and Community | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

An Apolitical Discussion about Mormons and Politics and Literature

I recently had a long political discussion on Facebook. The person I was talking with, also a practicing Latter-day Saint, disagreed with me on pretty much every current issue. But my point in continuing the discussion was not to finally … Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, Storytelling and Community | Tagged | 7 Comments