Phyllis Barber and Joanna Brooks are two of Mormonism’s bravest voices, writers of memoirs in which they offer us privileged glimpses of their inner lives, their comings of age in all the kinds of awkwardness that entails, including learning how to inhabit their bodies and sexuality in healthy ways, tensions between the path indicated by LDS narratives and the various other possibilities suggested by other stories that surround them, struggles with theological ideas and legacies that are especially difficult for women, their searches for place in and peace with the tradition and people into which they were born and “cultured.” Their memoirs serve their own Mormon people through telling Mormon stories that offer companionship to other Latter-day Saints who have been shaped by the same or similar ideas, rituals, and messages–both the ennobling ones and those that miss the mark, even sometimes harm. These books and these writers’ willingness to be exposed personally as well as to share an insider’s view of Mormon teachings and rituals also serve as powerful bridges to those outside the LDS community. Through their intimate depictions of the particularity of their Mormon upbringings and lives, these books provide connection to what is universal in human experience. It is in this way that we truly do become “no more strangers and foreigners.”
We trust that you will enjoy this far-ranging but very personal visit with these two remarkable writers and powerful human beings. Comment in the section below. Share your stories. Let’s connect!
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Below are Amazon.com links to their books. Also check out Kindle and Nook options for some of them. They are also available through certain other mercantile sites.
(For Phyllis’s out-of-print books, she recommends contacting Benchmark Books)