Now that the 2009 Whitney Awards have been awarded, I was all set to do a detailed post-mortem on them and the 2009 AML Awards. A little compare and contrast. Some armchair psycho-social analyzing. A strong dose or two of obvious oversights. etc. etc. But as that analysis swirled in my head Saturday evening, I realized that I had no desire to do it. Not because I’m going soft (although that’s always a possibility), but for this one reason:
The AML gave the best novel award to Rift by Todd Robert Petersen. (Amazon)
The Whitney voters gave the best novel award to In the Company of Angels by David Farland. (Amazon)
That’s a pretty good year, and if those awards inspired just 10 people each to pick up one of those novels and read them, I’d be quite pleased. They are both thorougly Mormon; they are both thoroughly LDS; they are both challenging and affirming; they are both very well written; they are both by writers who deserve to be remembered decades from now (and awards like this always help with that kind of cultural memory). Well done, brothers and sisters. The bottom line is ya’ll came through in the categories that (in my opinion) matter the most. I’m not going to gripe or quibble about the rest. There’s always next year for that.
For Peter Peterson and Marlow Imlay,
two of the last great American barbers
The dedication in Todd Robert Petersen’s Rift is not merely incidental. The barbershop is a significant symbol in the book. Ah, barbershops. Okay. Before we move on, you’ll have to allow for a personal digression:
I’ve only been to a true, honest-to-goodness barbershop once. It’s just down the street from my house and it’s far more expensive than the cheap back-alley haircuts I usually get and it is a purely man’s world–a foreign country I call Mansmansylvania–littered with copies of National Geographic and racing and fishing mags and Playboys and it also has Phil who gave me the best damn haircut of my life (to use the manly vernacular). Continue reading “Stucki’s Hands and the Masculine Identity: a review of Todd Robert Petersen’s Rift”
We’re starting back up with feature Fridays at AMV. Starting late, but starting nonetheless, and we’re kicking off with the return of Short Story Friday. Today (actually tonight), it’s a story by Todd Robert Petersen. Why? Because his Marilyn Brown Unpublished Novel Award-winning Rift* has just been published by Zarahemla Books. For more on Rift, see Laura’s recent interview with Todd. For a taste of his work, click on the link below.
Title: Now and at the Hour of Our Death
Author: Todd Robert Petersen
Publication Info: Dialogue, Summer 2003
Submitted by: Theric Jepson
Why?: Theric writes: “.
I think Petersen is the best short story writer we have at the moment. This particular story is often mentioned to me by others as being their favorite.”
Submit to Short Story Friday
Possible online sources of stories and link to spreadsheet with current submissions
All Short Story Friday posts so far
*Full disclosure: this is going to sound like bragging, but I do think it’s best to disclose any conflicts of interest. So here it is: I read a draft of Rift and commented on it. I have not read the final version of the novel. Also: I very much enjoyed the version I read even though I was initially put off by the idea that Todd was writing a rural Utah novel when I specifically applauded him for the international flavor of his short stories in Long After Dark.