Along with the comp ARC Soho sent me was included a slim, half-signature readers guide. Some of this info was promotional, some may be included in the published version. I don’t know. Anyway, it was interesting, but I won’t be talking about everything that was included—I’ve already talked some about marketing angles and you can get sample text and about-the-author stuff anywhere (though its interview with Mette is worth your time).
The only thing I want to discuss is READING GROUP GUIDE QUESTIONS because they, more than anything else, seem to reveal the nonLDS perspective on the LDS aspects of The Bishop’s Wife. For instance the first question seems a bit mystified by the concept (and appeal) of eternal marriage which we tend to think of as one of our top selling points.
Other questions I would simply love to hear the answers to as book groups across the country give this novel a shot. For instance:
“What do you think about the social and religious standards Linda holds herself to? Or the standards her community holds? Do any of them seem absurdly high to you? Do any of them seem to be not high enough?”
“Do [gender roles] seem more diverse, or less, or about the same as in mainstream American culture?”
“Is it possible to balance a protective nature with a welcoming, generous one?”
In terms of Linda’s “25 years being a full-time mom” and her sense that going “‘back to school or [finding] a job . . . would be saying that being a mother wasn’t enough’,” “Do we give the job of motherhood the dignity it deserves?”
I know how factions of Mormons might answer these questions, or how “average” Americans would answer some of them, but how would those same Americans answer these questions filtered through their time with LInda Wallheim? That’s what I really want to know.
more posts on The Bishop’s Wife
. I was doing some reading about The Relief Society Magazine last week and came across this article which made me horribly melancholy for a world I never knew. I recognize that Correlation was vital in terms of managing a single faith of many languages, but some real losses accompanied those real gains, one of which was the rich literary culture of the Church’s previous generation of periodicals. I commend the article to your soul. Today on the Relief Society’s birthday however, on this, an arts site, I am writing about the article’s revelation that one of the texts recommended for sisters’ consideration and study was Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. A daring choice, it seems to me, even now when the recommendation is 80 years old, given the nervousness allegedly revealed in many Relief Society book group’s rules. From the 1934 recommendation (I have made some slight adjustments without having recourse to the original scans or much concern with its paragraphing): Continue reading “Back in the doll’s house, one woman said, while another but smiled and shook her head.”
I was over at Amazon.com the other day, trying to figure out someplace to post about my book in the Mormon community. I mean, I was able to find a couple of places to post in the Gay etc. community. Surely there ought to be a place to post in the Mormon community.
Except, not. Oh, sure, there’s a lot of activity over there, but it all really seems to amount to people screaming at each other about whether LDS doctrines and practices are justified. Which, okay, fine, if that’s your thing. Except that it’s really not mine — the whole virtual-shouting-at-people thing, I mean — and, hello? I think of Amazon.com as an online bookstore, not an online debating club. So how about some talk about books here, people?
Continue reading “Proselyting for Mormon Literature”
OK, you are the Bishop. The Relief Society has decided to have a book club as one if the enrichment groups. Your ward has a normal distribution of both conservative and liberal Church members. What restrictions do you put on the books to be read?
Continue reading “What Should be the Rules for a Relief Society Bookclub?”