I hesitated for a few weeks before reading The Island of Bali Is Littered With Prayers (Amazon) by Jeremy Grimshaw (which is now out in paperback). I already knew Jeremy could write, and, in fact, I have tried to recruit him to AMV over the years. I knew that we shared a certain sensibility that could perhaps be described as a interest in melding, or at least co-locating, the core of Mormon praxis with the avant garde, post-whatever, and insistently yet calmly artistic. And I knew that I very much liked the excerpt I had posted at AMV when the limited edition hard bound copy of the book was published late last year by Mormon Artists Group (also see my interview with Jeremy about the book).
But all that somehow fades when faced with the book itself, the slim paperback volume with the vibrant red cover that arrived with a handwritten return address. What if it isn’t good? What if it is good, but I have nothing to say about it? Silly considerations, of course, especially when you get the book for free without committing to a formal review. And once the hesitation slid away, all there was to do was just read the thing. Which I did.
So here’s the deal: The Island of Bali Is Littered With Prayers is a marvelous case study in how to capture in a piece of creative nonfiction a meaningful cross-cultural experience. It’s also a lovely book to read. Continue reading “A review of The Island of Bali Is Littered With Prayers”