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Favorite Mormon Authors (Of Fiction)


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I clicked on the "Mormon Writers" thread by EllenMaksoud thinking I'd find a discussion of favorite LDS authors. And I wanted to acknowledge Brian Evenson & his superb novel Immobility that came out last year. I stumbled across it on the "staff picks" listing at Third Place Books in Ravenna, a Seattle neighborhood just North of mine. (As a side note, Brian was counselor in the bishopric of my singles' ward once upon a time.) Alas, that thread was something else entirely. So figured it was time to create the thread I was looking for.

I'd throw Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game into the mix. And Levi Peterson's The Backslider had some pretty unforgettable moments and a representation of Christ that while certainly not Biblical, had the virtue of being relatable.

There are others, but that would be my top 3.

Who do you love?

--Erik

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Oh...I forgot Ina Coolbrith.

Ina Donna Coolbrith (March 10, 1841 – February 29, 1928) was an American poet, writer, librarian, and a prominent figure in the San Francisco Bay Area literary community. Called the "Sweet Singer of California",[1] she was the first California Poet Laureate and the first poet laureate of any American state.[2]

Coolbrith, born the niece of Latter Day Saint movement founder Joseph Smith, Jr., left the Mormon community as a child to enter her teens in Los Angeles, California, where she began to publish poetry. She terminated a youthful failed marriage to make her home in San Francisco, and met writers Bret Harte and Charles Warren Stoddard with whom she formed the "Golden Gate Trinity" closely associated with the literary journal Overland Monthly. Her poetry received positive notice from critics and established poets such as Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce and Alfred Lord Tennyson. She held literary salons at her home—in this way she introduced new writers to publishers. Coolbrith befriended the poet Joaquin Miller and helped him gain global fame.

While Miller toured Europe and lived out their mutual dream of visiting Lord Byron's tomb, Coolbrith was saddled with custody of his daughter, and the care of members of her own family, so she set up house in Oakland and accepted the position of city librarian. Her poetry suffered as a result of her long work hours, but she mentored a generation of young readers including Jack London and Isadora Duncan. After she served for 19 years, Oakland's library patrons called for reorganization, and Coolbrith was fired. She moved back to San Francisco and was invited by members of the Bohemian Club to be their librarian.

Coolbrith began to write a history of California literature, including much autobiographical material, but the fire following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake consumed her work. Author Gertrude Atherton and Coolbrith's Bohemian Club friends helped set her up again in a new house, and she resumed writing and holding literary salons. She traveled by train to New York City several times and, with fewer worldly cares, greatly increased her poetry output. On June 30, 1915, Coolbrith was named California's poet laureate, and she continued to write poetry for eight more years. Her style was more than the usual melancholic or uplifting themes expected of women—she included a wide variety of subjects in her poems, which were noted as being "singularly sympathetic" and "palpably spontaneous".[3] Her sensuous descriptions of natural scenes advanced the art of Victorian poetry to incorporate greater accuracy without trite sentiment, foreshadowing the Imagist school and the work of Robert Frost.[4] California poet laureate Carol Muske-Dukes wrote of Coolbrith's poems that, though they "were steeped in a high tea lavender style", influenced by a British stateliness, "California remained her inspiration

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Brandon Sanderson is one of the best fantasy writers out right now (who also happens to be a Mormon). If you like fantasy pickup a few of his books, you won't regret it. He actually has a free book available called Warbreaker if you want to give his writing style a sample. Admittedly Warbreaker is not his best book, but it still has a unique and interesting world and it is free!!

http://www.brandonsanderson.com/portal/Warbreaker

-guerreiro9

Edited by guerreiro9
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I do like Scott Card's fiction, especially Ender's Game, the novella The Bully and the Beast, and Seventh Son. I've read most, though not all, of his fiction. And Ann Perry, especially the Inspector Monk books. Victorian mysteries about a Detective who has lost his memory and has to conceal that fact to keep his job. I've read five of them. On the whole though, I haven't kept up with Mormon writers as such.

Kevin Christensen

Bethel Park, PA

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I love the imagination of Chris Heimerdinger in the tennis shoes series.

And our family never laughed so much as they did with Joni Hilton's As the Ward Turns series (1st and 3rd best). (I'm not a fan of her later works so much.)

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I see so much more than just teachings on ethics. Weyland seems to have a much deeper and more important message than that.

I was just dashing off a short post and didn't want to get into it that much but I agree. I do like his work.

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I'm sorry... but I don't know the author.... of a 2-book story: 1) Out of the Darkness, and 2) Into the Light.

The premise of the story is an LDS man wants to give various professional people (of special expertise such as archaelogy, languages, vineyard/agricultural cultivation, oceanography etc) $100,000 each to participate in a "project" he has in mind... i.e., a project to take parts of a book without knowing the title or source and give their expert opinion on certain aspects as per their expertise... of course the book is the Book of Mormon...

I thought the author did quite well with the story... it was believable. Fairly fast-paced...

GG

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I always enjoyed Nephi Anderson's Added Upon...it follows a group of friends from the pre-existence through mortality & into the millennium...an enjoyable read!

Wow, yes! I have what I think is an 80-year-old copy of that book.

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I hate to bring it up, but Meyer's "Twilight" series.

Yeah, I hate that you brought it up, too.

I hate vampires and I hate zombies. And I don't mean the constructs themselves (though that, too), but all written and visual works involving them. I especially hate vampires when they don't even make freaking sense qua vampires. Like Stephanie Meyers's vampires. I especially hate that one of my granddaughters Is a huge fan of the Twilight Series, and when she came up for a visit at our place, she just HAD to go visit Forks, WA. LIke it was some kind of pilgrimage. Gag. Me. With. A. SPOON.

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By what standard do you consider Evenson to be an 'LDS author'?

As I attempted to explain in my OP, Brian was a counselor in my singles ward bishopric back in the day (early 90's). So regardless of his exact church standing at the moment, I'd still consider him a Mormon author (and it's impossible to escape the LDS influence in his writings). Is that good enough for you?

Appreciate all the responses, a couple things I should add to my reading list.

--Erik

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If the question includes the "Young Adult" genre:

1. James Dashner--loved his "Maze Runner" series: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Dashner

2. Shanon Hale and her wonderfully-written and imaginative fairy tales: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shannon_Hale

3. Ally Condie and her "Matched" trilogy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ally_Condie

It's interesting that all three of these LDS writers found acceptance by non-Mormon publishers. Movies based on Dashner and Condie's books are also in the works. I haven't read or seen it yet, but Hale's "Austenland" is apparently already on the big screen. http://www.sonyclassics.com/austenland/

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Yeah, I hate that you brought it up, too.

I hate vampires and I hate zombies. And I don't mean the constructs themselves (though that, too), but all written and visual works involving them. I especially hate vampires when they don't even make freaking sense qua vampires. Like Stephanie Meyers's vampires. I especially hate that one of my granddaughters Is a huge fan of the Twilight Series, and when she came up for a visit at our place, she just HAD to go visit Forks, WA. LIke it was some kind of pilgrimage. Gag. Me. With. A. SPOON.

Great! I thought I was the only one. I hope someone can tell me that since all that zombies eat are "fresh" humans and they do so at an incredible rate, what happens when they finish off the hapless people? Do they go for leftovers? And as far as teenage vampires...pleeeeeese....normal ones are hard enough!
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Great! I thought I was the only one. I hope someone can tell me that since all that zombies eat are "fresh" humans and they do so at an incredible rate, what happens when they finish off the hapless people? Do they go for leftovers? And as far as teenage vampires...pleeeeeese....normal ones are hard enough!

You and Stargazer better skip seeing the latest Brad Pitt movie then. But if someone twists your arm, it's not too bad. Good story ending.
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So regardless of his exact church standing at the moment, I'd still consider him a Mormon author (and it's impossible to escape the LDS influence in his writings). Is that good enough for you?

So, by the same token, would you consider C.S. Lewis an atheist author?

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So, by the same token, would you consider C.S. Lewis an atheist author?

Well, I can't say I've read all the works of C.S. Lewis, but I was rather struck by the Christian influence when I read Mere Christianity and The Great Divorce, to say nothing of the Narnia series. So by that token, I'd have to say no, Lewis was not an atheist author.

Was Evenson actually excommunicated from the LDS Church and that's why you're belaboring the point, Hamba Tuhan? I understand he was effectively let go from his position at BYU, but hey--there might even be a Mormon apologist or two who can make that boast. I'm unaware he's not still on LDS membership records.

If you know better than me, I'll gladly take correction.

--Erik

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