News on the Dorian project


Peculiar Pages’ edition of Nephi Anderson’s Dorian will be published by the end of 2013.

That’s right: this very year.

To celebrate, please enjoy this list of essays contributed by scholars which will be included in our Peculiar Edition of this classic work:

Mason Allred—Integrating the “Best Books”: Interwar Intellectualism and Extratextuality in Nephi Anderson’s Dorian

Jacob Bender—“This Is Not a Photograph”: Nephi Anderson’s Dorian as a sort of LDS Sons and Lovers; or A Portrait of the Mormon Solipsist as a Young Man

Scott Hales—Nephi Anderson’s Dorian and the Project of Twentieth-Century Mormonism

Blair Dee Hodges—“Harmonizing Mormonism and Science ‘in the valley of sunshine and shadow’”

Sarah Reed—“Why are there classes among members of our Church?”: Anderson’s Economics of Mormonism in Transition

A. Arwen Taylor—The Dead Virgin and the Accidental Whore

Not to mention notes on the text and two essays from Anderson himself!

This is going to be a terrific book. Whether you already know and love Dorian or it’s something you’re about to experience for the first time, this edition has been worth the wait.

And just in time for a new year of reading!

Monsters & Mormons as a founding document of the Mormon Renaissance


. . . the Latter-day Saints are a minority with a vibrant subculture which has an inherent value, just like any other minority. The interesting thing about the Mormons as a minority is that the defining characteristic of the people is not ethnicity, language or place, and that the faith is the only binding factor that this global group has – yet it is strong enough to form an identity and a sense of community or of united group.

In such a varied collection, it is difficult to pick favourites, but I definitely enjoyed the approach of “something strange or horrifying invades the every-day” rather than the imagines worlds of tomorrow (or yesterday): “Other Duties” by Nathan Shumate tells of a bishop whose ward has a special calling: to battle demons; “Charity Never Faileth” by Jaleta Clegg is a story of the carelessness with which some Mormon women treat the unique opportunities to care for and serve one another, and the monstrous consequences that carelessness can have – and Green Jell-O of course; “The World” by Danny Nelson is possibly the most delightful description of the insides of a contemporary Mormon’s head; and “The Eye Opener” by Brian Gibson -which is really close to being my very favourite – tells of what goes on during a prayer, that strange time when no one is looking up . . . .

Come read the latest review—and the first by a Finn—in full at Elftown.

Review of The Fob Bible in Dialogue


Dallas Robbins reviewed The Fob Bible in the fall issue of Dialogue last year. Which issue of Dialogue has been hanging around the office waiting for someone not only to appreciate the article, but to actually review the review here. As you can see, we have been a little slow on that point. What with it being fall of this year, now.

Anyway, the review bears certain similarities to another review he wrote for AML though much more in depth and including additional quotations from additional pieces.

The article is “Re-Creating the Bible” (206-211) and, after reminding the reader of the Bible’s central position in Western Literature, begins by admiring The Fob Bible‘s opening pages, including the family tree and title page and the book’s general design. (When a reviewer can even admire the title page, surely we have done something right.)

The book, Robbins claims, has “too many stories to cover in this review, and each one could be discussed in depth” (209). Naturally, that was impossible in the space allotted, but he did find room to compare “How to Get Over It” to The New Yorker‘s “Shouts & Murmers,” thus near-fulfilling a teenage dream for its author. He then moves on to discuss other humorous pieces (“Ezra’s Inbox” by Eric W Jepson and “The Love Song of Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar” by Danny Nelson”), before moving into an extended quotation from “Blood-Red Fruit,” co-written by those two.

Which “story is just one of the many beautiful parts of this collection” which “present challenging experiments that remind the reader of what makes the Bible unique. While much religious fiction based on biblical stories tries to water down the inherent strangeness of the Old Testament for the sake of a commercial audience, The Fob Bible foregrounds the strangeness. By juxtaposing the strangeness with various literary forms and contemporary approaches, it creates  type of meta-scripture, in which literary truth is exalted over doctrinal correctness” (210-1).

Needless to say, we are honored to have The Fob Bible lauded as having literary merit in any way comparable to that of the single most important literary work in Western history (however! although we agree with his hope that reading our book will send readers back the the Bible Bible, we hope that it will also lead to many copies being purchased for friends and family this coming Christmas).

While Fire in the Pasture and Monsters & Mormons are both about to be released, don’t miss this reminder to remember The Fob Bible, the book without which there would be no Peculiar Pages.

And — also worth remembering! — Plain and Precious Parts of the Fob Bible is still available for free download.

Read Plain and Precious Parts of the Fob Bible online or download an e-book file below.

EPUB (free!)
LIT (free!)
LRF (free!)
PDF (free!)
PRC (free!)
KINDLE (99¢) (blame Amazon)