Posts Tagged ‘coming-of-age novel’

No Going Back — Young Adult Novel?

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

A somewhat different version of this column, oriented more toward broader questions related to the YA literature genre in the Mormon market, is posted at A Motley Vision website under the title “Some Definitional Thoughts About YA (Mormon) Fiction.”

Who’s the intended audience of No Going Back? In particular, does No Going Back fit the definition of a young adult (YA) novel? That’s proved to be a tricky question.

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ALA GLBTRT Review of No Going Back

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Every couple of days, I google “Jonathan Langford No Going Back” just to see what’s out there. It’s kind of a game to see if I can locate something that Google Alert hasn’t already told Chris Bigelow (my publisher) about. Usually I don’t find anything. But today there was a link to a review in the Spring 2010 GLBTRT Newsletter, a publication of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered Round Table of the American Library Association. Here’s what it said:

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Mixed News

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

The last week or so has been kind of bittersweet from my perspective. The Whitney Awards were announced, and while I was very pleased to have been a finalist, I was unsurprised to discover that I didn’t win the award in my category. (The person who did win the award, Jamie Ford, is a very fine author whose book, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, is the one I thought probably would win, so I’m not complaining.)

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Going Back and Coming Out

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

A few days ago, I had occasion to talk to a long-time friend (non-LDS, gay, and a literature professor) about his reaction to No Going Back. What, he asked, was the significance of the title, in my opinion? Which led to possibly a longer answer than he had anticipated…

I suppose I should include a spoiler alert here. So, here goes. If you keep reading, you’ll find out about things that happen toward the end of the book. Selah.

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No Going Back Discussion Questions

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

One of my main motivations in writing No Going Back was to stimulate discussion, both about the book itself (hey! I’m an author, I like feedback; live with it) and about the topics it addresses.

Over Christmas break, I drafted a set of questions that I thought might help prompt interesting discussions among readers of my book. Sadly, the notebook where I wrote down my ideas disappeared… So here’s Take 2 at some “official” No Going Back discussion questions. Please feel free to post responses, additional suggested questions, etc. (more…)

Top Ten Reasons Why No Going Back Is a Great Read!

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Yeah, I’m still on Christmas break. But I couldn’t resist the temptation to post something. And so…

Getting comments from readers of my novel has given me a new appreciation of Tolkien’s observation that elements of his book that “are to some a blemish are all by others specially approved.” Despite this, it seems to me that there have been some common themes among those who like my book. The following list, then represents (in unranked order) my summary of some of the top reasons why I think  No Going Back is worth reading — based on reader responses to date, together with my own thinking. (Or — to put it another way — no one else seems to be beating down the door to list all the reasons why my novel is wonderful, so I need to do it myself.) Please feel free to read, respond, and (hopefully) add reasons of your own! (more…)

How We (Don’t) Talk About Homosexuality in the Mormon Church

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

On Dec. 4, Rex Goode — a friend of mine from AML-List, who started the conversation years ago that ultimately led to No Going Back — posted a review/essay on his blog about my book and why he’d encouraged me to write it and then endorsed it after it came out. It’s a positive review, and some of the reasons he gives for endorsing the book have a lot in common with my reasons for writing it. And then, poking around his site, I found another essay titled Not Ashamed that I think may speak even more directly about ways that we Mormons need to change and how I hope my book might help that change.

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First Newspaper Review!

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

So I got back from Thanksgiving (spent with some friends in Iowa) to find the first newspaper review of my novel from the Ogden Standard-Examiner, a paper that will henceforth hold a fond spot in my heart.

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On Writing a Realistic Novel

Friday, November 6th, 2009

It’s interesting being the author of a novel about a topic that matters so much to a lot of readers. Sex and religion are topics that people care about passionately (if you’ll pardon the double pun), and when they intersect, there’s little that’s more potentially volatile.

That’s all to the good when people like my book. I’ve gotten some amazing comments from people, not just about how the book affected them as a story but about the positive good they think it can do in the world. I’d like to believe those comments are all true. But it can be especially unpleasant when people don’t like my book — especially those who share my religious beliefs.

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Now Welcoming Reader Comments

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Ever since before No Going Back was published, I intended to make a space available for people to share their thoughts about the book — positive and negative, under their own names or anonymously, so long as what they were saying was relevant and respectful of me and others. After all, a big part of my reason for writing the book was to stimulate conversation about this topic in the LDS (Mormon) community. How can I do that if people don’t have somewhere to talk about it?

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