I’m a Mormon. And I like fiction, and literature in general. And I like talking with people who share my interests. It should hardly be surprising, then, that I like talking about Mormon literature — and Mormon perspectives on literature — with people who share my interests.
Back about 15 years ago, if my memory serves me, I got involved with the AML-List, an email discussion group sponsored by the Association for Mormon Letters. It’s probably not a coincidence that this was about the time I gave up on my PhD program in English: I’d seen the writing on the wall with respect to my becoming a literature professor, but still felt the need to engage in talking about storytelling from perspectives that felt important to me. Not to mention the fact that it was a darn good conversation back then, featuring a lot of bright and interesting people.
Since then, I’ve been involved in Mormon lit in a variety of ways. I put in a couple years’ stint as the moderator for AML-List. I’ve published some reviews. I’ve even written a Mormon-themed novel, based on an idea that was sparked by my involvement with AML-List. And now I’m at it again, volunteering to act as coordinator of the AML blog (which has now largely taken the place of AML-List). For this post, I want to talk about things I’ve read recently that help illustrate why it is that I think Mormon lit is such an interesting sandbox to play in.