Have we ever even had any “capital-L Literary” Mormon fiction on the national stage? This is the question my younger brother asked me as we drove home from the airport on a Sunday morning, drowsy from a 6:00 am flight and a little loopy from low-blood sugar. It took a few pulls of the rip-cord to restart my brain. I think my first answer was, “Huh?”
A good place to start is the Association for Mormon Letters' 100 Works of Significant Mormon Literature. https://www.associationmormonletters.org/2022/07/aml-100-significant-mormon-literature-works/
Levi Peterson's The Backslider
This seems like as good a spot as any to start building a bibliography of favorites. I'll start with three novels I admire:
A Little Lower than the Angels by Virginia Sorensen (1942) --- a novel of Nauvoo with all the triumphs and tragedies and probably my favorite prose rendition of Joseph Smith
Love Letters of the Angels of Death by Jennifer Quist (2013) --- only a couple cues prove the central couple to be LDS but in my mind this is perhaps the finest description of a Latter-day Saint marriage I've ever read
The Tragedy of King Leere, Goatherd of the la Sals by Steven L. Peck (2019) --- a postapocalyptic reimagining narrated by a demon exploring what a future version of our faith might entail
Tag. You're it.