Tending the Garden
Essays on Mormon Literature
Eugene England & Lavina Fielding Anderson, editors
This first book-length collection of essays on Mormon literature discusses such classic narratives as Joseph Smith’s first vision and Parley P. Pratt’s Autobiography, more recent experiments such as Levi Peterson’s The Backslider and Terry Tempest Williams’s Refuge, and addresses the question of what constitutes Mormon aesthetics. In addition to describing the historical development of Mormon letters, essayists explore Mormon contributions to folklore, personal essay, home literature, novels, and historical tragedy. Among fifteen essays are: “Mormondom’s Lost Generation: The Novelists of the 1940s” by Edward A. Geary, “Literary Form and Historical Understanding: Joseph Smith’s First Vision” by Neal E. Lambert & Richard H. Cracroft, “Juanita Brooks: The Mormon Historian as Tragedian” by Levi S. Peterson, “Beyond ‘Jack Fiction’: Recent Achievement in the Mormon Novel” by Eugene England, and “The Mormon Folklore: Cut from the Marrow of Everyday Experience” by William A. Wilson.
Eugene England is past president of the Association for Mormon Letters and Professor of English at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. He is editor/co-editor of Harvest: Contemporary Mormon Poems and Bright Angels and Familiars: Contemporary Mormon Stories.
Lavina Fielding Anderson, also past president of AML, is the former associate editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, president of Editing, Inc., and editor of the Journal of Mormon History.