Two Mormon books this year seem to be getting absolute purity of praise. A Short Stay in Hell by Steven L. Peck and Dispirited by Luisa M. Perkins both seem to have been more widely discussed online in their first few months than most Mormon books get in their first couple years, and both books have been loved by those readers. Which is great, I think we’ll all agree, especially when both books are doing very curious things for “Mormon books.”
A Short Stay is published by Strange Violin and Dispirited by Zarahemla—both publishers with a Mormon bent—even though A Short Stay begins with the Mormon hero learning that Zoroastrianism was the true religion and Dispirited never uses the M-word at all. So the fact that these books were published by whom they were published by, and that we’re discussing these books as “Mormon books,” is a pretty fascinating pair of facts up front. Then add in that they are both filled with information about spirits and postmortal realms. Suddenly the fact that these “Mormon books” have no explicitly Mormon content is not only odd but genuinely remarkable. Aren’t these the very topics for which religion even exists? What’s going on here?
Continue reading “Unpleasant afterlives: New fiction from Peck and Perkins”
Luisa Perkins discusses her new novel Dispirited, which was recently published by Zarahemla Books
Luisa Perkins new novel Dispirited was recently published by Zarahemla Books. It’s a work of supernatural fiction or maybe “contemporary dark fantasy” (that a term Luisa uses on her about page). You can read more about Luisa and her work on her author website Kashkawan.
She is also a frequent commenter here at AMV and other Mormon blogs and an active Twitter user. When I heard about the publication of Dispirited, I had a few questions for her…
The synopsis for Dispirited on the Zarahemla Books website is a bit on the vague side. Could you tell us more about what the novel is about?
A boy named Blake teaches himself how to get out of his body in order to go looking for the spirit of his dead mother. One night when he comes home, he finds that another being has taken over his body in his absence. For years, he watches an impostor live his life. Then his father remarries, and Blake hopes to get help from his new stepsister, Cathy, who has some unusual gifts. Continue reading “Luisa Perkins on her novel Dispirited”