In 1888, a bishop and one-time newspaper editor spoke to a gathering of young Mormons about literature. “We will yet have Miltons and Shakespeares of our own,” he told them. It was more prediction than prophecy, but Orson F. Whitney eventually became an apostle of the church, and his words, published in a short-lived Mormon monthly, survived; I first heard them in my teens, quoted by a Sunday school teacher. More than a century after his remarks, bookish Mormons still occasionally get to thinking about those latter-day Miltons and Shakespeares and ask, “Well, where are they?”
Monday, May 17, 2010
Where is the Great Mormon Novel?
I tackle that question for Slate, in light of a new book by Brady Udall: