Ask and ye shall receive.
A few weeks ago, Scott Hales wrote a post on the AML blog about what to know before writing Mormon missionary fiction. The comment thread turned into a discussion of recommended missionary fiction, and a couple of people expressed the need for a bibliography of Mormon missionary literature. I may not be a fiction writer, but I am a librarian, and compiling such a bibliography sounded like something that was right up my alley, so I asked Wm if he’d be willing to host it at AMV and now here we are.
I started the bibliography based on the works mentioned in that comment thread, but I’m planning on updating and maintaining it, so please leave any suggestions or corrections in the comments.
The scope of this bibliography is published literature (including novels, short stories, drama, film, and comics) with a main character or significant secondary character who is a Mormon missionary or who has recently returned from a Mormon mission. Ideally, each entry will eventually be annotated to include information about setting, time period (if set significantly before (or after!) the work was published), awards, a brief synopsis and any other useful information. The scope of this bibliography also includes works by non-Mormons or works that may be considered anti-Mormon in tone, although ideally such information will be included in the annotation.
Allred, Gordon T. The Companion. Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1992.
Anderson, Nephi. Added Upon. Salt Lake City: Desert News, 1898.
————. The Castle Builder. Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1902.
————. A Daughter of the North. Salt Lake City: De Utah-Nederlander Publishing Company, 1915.
————. Romance of a Missionary. Independence: Zion’s Printing and Publishing Company, 1919.
————. Story of Chester Lawrence. Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1913.
Anderson, Paris. Waiting for the Flash. Scottlin, 1988.
Ashworth, Jenn. The Friday Gospels. London: Sceptre, 2013.
Bailey, S. P. Millstone City. Provo: Zarahemla Books, 2012.
Bennion, John. Falling Toward Heaven. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2000.
Blackhurst, Deanne. Turning Hearts. American Fork: Covenant, 2010.
Carey, Donald J. Bumpy Landings. Springville: Bonneville Books, 2010.
Farmer, Gladys Clark. Elders and Sisters. Provo: Seagull Books, 1977.
Fisher, Franklin. Bones. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1990.
This novel won the 1990 AML Award.
Gagon, David. Honorable Release. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1992.
Hall, Randall L. Corey Davidson. Provo: Ensign Productions, 1984.
Halldór Laxness. Paradísarheimt. Reykjavík: Helgafell, 1960.
This book was published in English as Paradise Reclaimed. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1962.
Heuston, Kimberley. The Shakeress. Asheville: Front Street, 2002.
Hughes, Dean. Rumors of War. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1997.
————. Through Cloud and Sunshine. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013.
————. Troubled Waters. Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 2002.
————. The Wind and the Waves. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2012.
————. The Writing on the Wall. Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 2001.
Kirn, Walter. Thumbsucker. New York: Broadway Books, 1999.
Loraine, Scott. NYC: A Mission to Die For. American Fork: American Fork Arts Council Press, 2010.
Majors, Anneke. The Year of the Boar. Anneke M. Majors, 2011.
This book is available as a Kindle ebook.
McIlvain, Ryan. Elders. New York: Hogarth, 2013.
Mitchell, Alan Rex. Angel of the Danube. Springville: Bonneville Books, 2000.
Newell, Coke. On the Road to Heaven. Provo: Zarahemla Books, 2007.
Nunes, Rachel Ann. Ariana: The Making of a Queen. American Fork: Covenant Communications, 1996.
Olsen, Jeffrey. Called to Serve Again. Shoeshine Boy Publishing, 2011.
Parkinson, Benson. Into the Field. Salt Lake City: Aspen Books, 2000.
————. The MTC. Murray: Aspen Books, 1995.
Proctor, Jenny. The House at Rose Creek. American Fork: Covenant Communications, 2013.
Rich Ben E. Mr. Durant of Salt Lake City: “That Mormon.” Salt Lake City: George Q. Cannon & Sons, 1893.
Sears, Gale. Belonging to Heaven. Salt Lake City: George Q. Cannon & Sons, 1893.
Thayer, Douglas. The Conversion of Jeff Williams. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013.
————. The Tree House. Provo: Zarahemla Books, 2009.
Tippetts, E. M. Castles on the Sand. Charleston: CreateSpace, 2012.
————. Love in Darkness. Charleston: CreateSpace, 2013.
Woodbury, Eugene. Tokyo South. Peaks Island Press, 2009.
This book is available as a Kindle ebook or online: www.eugenewoodbury.com/tokyo/
Anderson, Paris. “You: A Missionary Story.” Sunstone 11:15 (September 1987): 18-21. www.sunstonemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/061-18-21.pdf
Setting: Los Angeles, California
Anderson, Tory, “Mission Rules.” Wasatch Review International 4 (1996).
Bailey, S. P. “Returned.” Popcorn Popping April 25, 2006. www.motleyvision.org/popcornpopping/?p=23
Barber, Phyllis. “Wild Sage.” Dialogue 20:2 (Summer 1987): 148-153.
This story was also published in Parting the Veil. Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1999. signaturebookslibrary.org/?p=7550
Bell, Elouise. “A Generous Heart.” Christmas for the World: A Gift to the Children. Salt Lake City: Aspen, 1991.
Bennion, John. “The Burial Pool.” Irreantum. 1:3 (September 1999): 27-36.
Birkhead, C. Douglas. “Baptisms for the Dead.” Mormons & Monsters. El Cerrito: Peculiar Pages, 2011.
Crockett, Paul James. “A Letter from the Field.” Mormons & Monsters. El Cerrito: Peculiar Pages, 2011.
Hales, Scott. “Album.” Everyday Mormon Writer 2012. www.everydaymormonwriter.com/work/album/
Inouye, Mei Li. “Mercy.” Sunstone 153 (February 2009): 20-23. www.sunstonemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/issues/153.pdf
Jepson, Theric. “Do Not Open Until Christmas.” Carol of the Tales and Other Nightly Noels: An Advent Anthology. CreateSpace, 2013.
Kirn, Walter. “Whole Other Bodies.” My Hard Bargain. New York: Knopf, 1990.
Laws, Gordon. My People. Provo: Brigham Young University, 2001.
Majors, Anneke. “What Are You Waiting For?” Popcorn Popping November 26, 2007. www.motleyvision.org/popcornpopping/?p=101
Marshall, Donald R. “May the Lord Bless You and Keep You.” The Rummage Sale. Provo: Heirloom, 1972.
McCune-Poplin, Laura. “Salvation.” Dialogue 37:4 (Winter 2004): 187-193. www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V37N04_205.pdf
This story was reprinted in Dispensation. Provo: Zarahemla Books, 2010.
McIlvain, Ryan. “Davinho.” Sunstone 173 (December 2013).
————. “Keep it Bible.” Paris Review 184 (Spring 2008).
Morris, William. “Conference.” Irreantum 14:1 (2012)
————. “The Elder Who Wouldn’t Stop.” Mormon Artist blog February 16, 2012. mormonartist.net/2012/02/day-two-wm-morris-2/
————. “Return.” Popcorn Popping December 21, 2007. www.motleyvision.org/popcornpopping/?p=103
Orullian, Aaron. “The Homecoming.” Dialogue 37.3 (Fall 2004): 182-192. www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V37N03_192.pdf
Peterson, Levi S. “Trinity.” The Canyons of Grace. Urbana: University of Chicago Press, 1982. signaturebookslibrary.org/?p=690
Petsco, Béla. Nothing Very Important, and Other Stories. Provo: Meservydale, 1979.
Rawlins, Paul. “The Garden.” Image: Air Faith Mystery 57 (Spring 2008).
Reprinted in Dispensation. Provo: Zarahemla Books, 2010.
Roberts, Scott M. “The Revelation of Douglas Chandler.” Irreantum 14.2 (2012): 21-42.
Rogers, Thomas F. “Pax Vobiscum.” Christmas for the World. Salt Lake City: Aspen Books, 1991.
Sampson, Bryton. “The Mission Story.” Monsters & Mormons. El Cerrito: Peculiar Pages, 2011.
Shoemaker, Ryan. “Richard Golightly: A Novel.” Dialogue 44.1 (Spring 2011): 144-161.
Synopsis: The entire life of a Mormon man is told in short vignettes, including his mission in Honduras. The missionary vignettes cover Elder Golightly’s farewell, his time in the MTC, a convert baptism, conflicts with his companions, a “Dear John” letter, becoming a trainer, and returning home.
Thayer, Douglas. “Elder Thatcher.” Under the Cottonwoods and Other Mormon Stories. Midvale, Utah: Orion Books, 1977. signaturebookslibrary.org/?p=478
Thayer, Douglas. “Opening Day.” Dialogue 5.1 (Spring 1970): 81-92.
This story was reprinted in Under the Cottonwoods and Other Mormon Stories (Midvale, Utah: Orion Books, 1977) and in Bright Angels & Familiars (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1992). signaturebookslibrary.org/?p=7360
Tice, Bradford. “Missionaries.” Atlantic Monthly August 2007. www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2007/08/missionaries/306036/
Townsend, Johnny. The Abominable Gayman. Bangor: BookLocker.com, 2010.
Young, Margaret Blair. “In Search of Spilled Root Beer.” Sunstone 16:4 (March 1993): 30-34. www.sunstonemagazine.com/pdf/090-30-34.pdf
This story won second place in the Brookie and D. K. Brown Fiction Contest. It was also reprinted in Love Chains. Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1997.
Arrington, James. “J. Golden.” Saints on Stage. Provo: Zarahemla Books, 2013.
De Azevedo, Lex and Doug Stewart. Saturday’s Warrior. Salt Lake City: Embryo Music, 1974.
Duncan, Thom. “Matters of the Heart.” Saints on Stage. Provo: Zarahemla Books, 2013.
Elliott, Robert. “Fires of the Mind.” Sunstone 1:1 (Winter 1975): 23-93. www.sunstonemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/001-23-93.pdf
This play was reprinted in Saints on Stage. Provo: Zarahemla Books, 2013.
Goldberg, James. “Book of Mormon Story.” Out of the Mount. Kansas City: Peculiar Pages, 2010.
————. “Prodigal Son.” The Best of Mormonism 2009. Salt Lake City: Curelom Books, 2009.
This play was reprinted in Out of the Mount. Kansas City: Peculiar Pages, 2010.
Greene, Matthew. “Adam & Steve and the Empty Sea.” Sunstone 172 (August 2013): 38-61.
Synopsis: The long-time friendship between Adam and Steve is tested when Steve comes out as gay to his best friend Adam, who is Mormon. They play covers the year before Adam leaves on a mission (during which time he works on worthiness issues), a brief scene while he is actually on his mission, and his early return due to a serious medical condition.
Kelly, Martin. “And They Shall Be Gathered.” A Believing People: Literature of the Latter-day Saints. Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1974.
Larson, Melissa Leilani. “Little Happy Secrets.” Out of the Mount. Kansas City: Peculiar Pages, 2010.
Parker, Trey, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone. The Book of Mormon. New York: Newmarket Press, 2011.
Samuelsen, Eric. “Family.” Sunstone 136 (March 2005): 14-41. www.sunstonemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/136-14-41.pdf
Slover, Tim and James Arrington. “Wilford Woodruff: God’s Fisherman.” Sunstone 16:1 (February 1992): 28-48. www.sunstonemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/087-28-48.pdf
The Best Two Years. Dir. Scott S. Anderson. 2003.
The Christmas Mission. Dir. Michael L. Schaertl. 1999.
The Errand of Angels. Dir. Christian Vuissa. 2008.
The Falls. Dir. Jon Garcia. 2012.
Synopsis: Two missionaries fall in love with each other while on their mission in Oregon.
God’s Army. Dir. Richard Dutcher. 2000.
Hoops. Dir. John Lyde. 2004.
Latter Days. Dir. C. Jay Cox. 2003.
One Man’s Treasure. Dir. John Lyde. 2009.
Orgazmo. Dir. Trey Parker. 1997.
The Other Side of Heaven. Dir. Mitch Davis. 2001.
The R.M. Dir. Kurt Hale. 2003.
Saints and Soldiers. Dir. Ryan Little. 2003.
The Saratov Approach. Dir. Garrett Batty. 2013.
Saturday’s Warrior. Dir. Bob Williams. 1989.
Star Child. Dir. Howard Little. 1999.
States of Grace. Dir. Richard Dutcher. 2005.
Suits on the Loose. Dir. Rodney Henson. 2005.
Doggett, Tom. Gleaners. 2004-2005. gleaners.comicgenesis.com/
Last updated August 2014.