What are some of the major developments in Mormon literature over the past 20 years? Being under the painfully pleasant necessity of writing a short article (500-1000 words) during the next week on Mormon literature for a forthcoming reference work, this is something I’ve had occasion to ponder. I have an excellent source for up to about 1990 with the articles that were written for the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, but there’s an awful lot that has happened since then.
Items that come to mind include the following:
- Richard Dutcher and the “Mormon movie phenomenon”
- Consolidation of mainstream Mormon publishers (and the two major bookstore chains) under Deseret Books
- Startup of Shadow Mountain press
- Startup of Irreantum
- The Whitney Awards
- The Mormon literature database
- Ongoing success of LDS authors in the world of mainstream genre fiction, particularly sf&f (e.g., Brandon Sanderson, Stephenie Meyer, Dave Farland, and the continuing success of Orson Scott Card)
- Online discussions of Mormon literature, including AML-List and the subsequent development of literarily oriented blogs such as AMV, the Red Brick Store, and AML’s own new blog–together with the prevalence of less formal Mormon book blogs and the like
- (Possibly) the startup of Zarahemla and Parables as publishers
So: What do you think are some major developments that MUST be included in any summary of Mormon literature? And which literary artists, critics, editors, works, and websites MUST be mentioned?