EVERYTHING IN THIS POST IS A SPOILER more
EVERYTHING IN THIS POST IS A SPOILER more
I will be walking down a sidewalk thinking of other things when I remember when Elna Baker said:
I try not to [read what Mormons are saying about me]. . . .Â Never before in history has there been a time whereÂ things increase, where we get more and more aware, where what you create is open to criticism that you have access to. . . . .Â for the most part Iâ€™ve noticed that the reactions are positive, but then as you scroll down and stumble upon reactions that are really strongly negative and . . .Â you canâ€™t stop it.
And now I want you to compare this to what Mettie Ivie Anderson recently said:
. . . I have rough drafts of several other books in the series, and have planned in my head an arc for Lindaâ€™s development as a character up to a certain point. I wanted to get that set in place before the first book came out because I donâ€™t want media attention, and in particular the comments of other Mormons around me, to influence the story I have in mind for her.
I find the similarities and differences here quite striking. Your thoughts?
more posts on The Bishop’s Wife
The Bishop’s Wife has a lot to say about male/female relations (and a lot about marriage in particular) and about the different roles of men and women in this particular Mormon community (from which we are free to extrapolate). I’m not ready to draw many conclusions regarding justÂ what the novel is saying—that will be done better as more people read and begin debating motwaaw—meaning being, of course, ultimately, a very personal thing—but I want to provide some out-of-context quotations for your preliminary consideration.
Brethren, please check your privilege before proceeding.
Note:Â As I said last time, I willÂ correct obvious errors, marking them with [molaq] and mark likely errors I can’tÂ correct withÂ [sic]. I will note location with chapter numbers and, if necessary for purposes of this post or to prevent spoilers, disguise characters and events via substitutions enclosed in brackets or through the omission of quotation marks. Sometimes I add comments in italics after the chapter number. more
I suddenly thought to start tweeting #MoLit / #MormonLit stuff during #ldsconf. I wasn’t consistent in my hashtags and not all my examples were ideal andÂ I tended to repeat some works too many times and I wasn’t above being self-promotional, but I wasn’t totally dissatisfied with the results.
I’m putting them here mostly to encourage others to do better.
Great Mormon novels about the poor to read in your book club the month #theHolland visits: Salvador / Blair Young Millstone City / Bailey
— Theric Jepson (@thmazing) October 4, 2014
When Magdalene was nominated to be considered by the Whitney committee for the 2011 awards, Jennie Hansen, a well-known LDS reviewer and writer, posted a review on Goodreads that caused quite a stir in our little LDS writing community. Her review was short and to the point. She wrote:
â€œDisjointed, sloppy writing. Lacks real knowledge of Mormons and leadership in the Church. Too much vulgarity for vulgarities sake makes this story crude and amateurish.â€ Â If you are interested, you may read and/or comment on this review here. more
If you’re in California or Arizona, Ben Abbott’s Questions of the HeartÂ is only halfway through it’s tour and you’re still in its future.
Don’t miss it!
The Osher Studio
2055 Center Street
1531 Montery Street
Yesterday, I talked aboutÂ Shannon Hale’s apparent attempt to make a mainstream success of a novel staring a character who was not “white, male, able-bodied, straight, not too young . . . and not too old“—you know, what we all expect a protagonist to be here in these United States. We discussed the basics of the plot and posed this question:
DoesÂ DangerousÂ succeed at making us identify with Maisie Danger Brown, itsÂ home-schooled, geeky, one-armed, half-Paraguayan female protagonist?
Sure. Of course it does. Humans are humans, whatever, no problem. Maisie is fine and we, excepting Klansmen, like her as much as we would a white male two-armed protagonist.
But what’s interesting is how much the novel hedges its bets on our openmindedness—it seems to be a little lacking in confidence that theÂ audienceÂ will acceptÂ her. more
NOTE: This is a work of cultural and literary criticism, and not a review. Please adjust your expectations accordingly.
When I was in the rewrite stage of Dangerous several years ago, a Smart Person read the first 50 pages and immediately let me know her concerns. She said, “Your main character is unrelatable. You made her a home schooled, science geeky, one-armed, half-Paraguayan.” Until this person said all that I had never thought it. I mean, of course I knew knew those things about her, but I’d never strung together all those adjectives in my mind, maybe because the decisions about her character came about piece-by-piece while writing the story, not all at once. . .Â more