Fiction

The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel | ,

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A New York Times bestseller: "Udall masterfully portrays the hapless foibles and tragic yearnings of our fellow humans." —San Francisco Chronicle Golden Richards, husband to four wives, father to twenty-eight children, is having the mother of all midlife crises. His construction business is failing, his family has grown into an overpopulated mini-dukedom beset with insurrection and rivalry, and he is done in with grief: due to the accidental death of a daughter and the stillbirth of a son, he has come to doubt the capacity of his own heart. Brady Udall, one of our finest American fiction writers, tells a tragicomic story of a deeply faithful man who, crippled by grief and the demands of work and family, becomes entangled in an affair that threatens to destroy his family’s future. Like John Irving and Richard Yates, Udall creates characters that engage us to the fullest as they grapple with the nature of need, love, and belonging. Beautifully written, keenly observed, and ultimately redemptive, The Lonely Polygamist is an unforgettable story of an American family—with its inevitable dysfunctionality, heartbreak, and comedy—pushed to its outer limits..

Fiction

The Miracle Life Of Edgar Mint | Brady Udall

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Half Apache and mostly orphaned, the adventures of Edgar Presley Mint begin on an Arizona reservation at the age of seven, when the mailman's jeep accidentally runs over his head. Shunted from the hospital to a reform school to a Mormon foster family, comedy and trouble accompany Edgar - the irresistible innocent who never truly loses heart, and whose quest for the mailman leads him to an unexpected home. This riveting picaresque novel has become an international best-seller..

Fiction

The 19th Wife | David Ebershoff

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Faith, I tell them, is a mystery, elusive to many, and never easy to explain. Sweeping and lyrical, spellbinding and unforgettable, David Ebershoff’s The 19th Wife combines epic historical fiction with a modern murder mystery to create a brilliant novel of literary suspense. It is 1875, and Ann Eliza Young has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church. Expelled and an outcast, Ann Eliza embarks on a crusade to end polygamy in the United States. A rich account of a family’s polygamous history is revealed, including how a young woman became a plural wife. Soon after Ann Eliza’s story begins, a second exquisite narrative unfolds–a tale of murder involving a polygamist family in present-day Utah. Jordan Scott, a young man who was thrown out of his fundamentalist sect years earlier, must reenter the world that cast him aside in order to discover the truth behind his father’s death. And as Ann Eliza’s narrative intertwines with that of Jordan’ s search, readers are pulled deeper into the mysteries of love and faith. Praise for The 19th Wife “This exquisite tour de force explores the dark roots of polygamy and its modern-day fruit in a renegade cult . . . Ebershoff brilliantly blends a haunting fictional narrative by Ann Eliza Young, the real-life 19th “rebel” wife of Mormon leader Brigham Young, with the equally compelling contemporary narrative of fictional Jordan Scott, a 20-year-old gay man. . . . With the topic of plural marriage and its shattering impact on women and powerless children in today's headlines, this novel is essential reading for anyone seeking understanding of the subject.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review).

Fiction

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ | Philip Pullman

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This is a story. In this ingenious and spellbinding retelling of the life of Jesus, Philip Pullman revisits the most influential story ever told. Charged with mystery, compassion and enormous power, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ throws fresh light on who Jesus was and asks the reader questions that will continue to resonate long after the final page is turned. For, above all, this book is about how stories become stories..

Fiction

Letting Loose the Hounds: Stories | Brady Udall

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“Funny, unpredictable, and abounding with strange beauty . . . a fierce new voice of the American West.”—Outside Exploding with an unsettling exuberance, Brady Udall’s stories traverse a geography of lost love, fragmented lives, and satisfying revenge. From the night a six-foot-three Apache Indian holding a goat steps into a moonlit Arizona backyard in "Midnight Raid" to the pivotal moment when a man, delirious from a dental extraction, gets rescued by a stranger in the title story, Udall injects his stories and characters with equal parts darkness and humor. These are sad and sweet stories, moving from the familiar to surprising destinations. But even when disaster looms, Udall's fine comic sense sustains his men and women in their sometimes extravagant efforts to connect and cope. Plunged in the moment, these stories have velocity; they spray gravel as they take off..

Biography & Autobiography

Love Times Three | Mr. Joe Darger,Alina Darger,Vicki Darger,Valerie Darger,Brooke Adams

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From a familythat inspired Big Love’s story of Bill Henricksonand his three wives, this first-ever memoir of a polygamous family captures theextraordinary workings of a unique family dynamic, and argues forthe acceptance of plural marriage as an alternative lifestyle. Readers ofCarolyn Jessop’s Escape, Elissa Wall’s StolenInnocence, and James McGreevey’s Confession,as well as fans of shows like Big Love and Sister Wives, will beenthralled by the first groundbreaking book in praise of polygamy..

Fiction

Amity & Sorrow | Peggy Riley

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A mother and her daughters drive for days without sleep until they crash their car in rural Oklahoma. The mother, Amaranth, is desperate to get away from someone she's convinced will follow them wherever they go--her husband. The girls, Amity and Sorrow, can't imagine what the world holds outside their father's polygamous compound. Rescue comes in the unlikely form of Bradley, a farmer grieving the loss of his wife. At first unwelcoming to these strange, prayerful women, Bradley's abiding tolerance gets the best of him, and they become a new kind of family. An unforgettable story of belief and redemption, AMITY & SORROW is about the influence of community and learning to stand on your own..

Biography & Autobiography

The Sound of Gravel | Ruth Wariner

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An instant New York Times bestseller “A haunting, harrowing testament to survival." — People Magazine “An addictive chronicle of a polygamist community.” — New York Magazine “Unforgettable” — Entertainment Weekly The thirty-ninth of her father’s forty-two children, Ruth Wariner grew up in polygamist family on a farm in rural Mexico. In The Sound of Gravel, she offers an unforgettable portrait of the violence that threatened her community, her family’s fierce sense of loyalty, and her own unshakeable belief in the possibility of a better life. An intimate, gripping tale of triumph and courage, The Sound of Gravel is a heart-stopping true story..

History

The Lonely Soldier | Helen Benedict

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The Lonely Soldier--the inspiration for the documentary The Invisible War--vividly tells the stories of five women who fought in Iraq between 2003 and 2006--and of the challenges they faced while fighting a war painfully alone. More American women have fought and died in Iraq than in any war since World War Two, yet as soldiers they are still painfully alone. In Iraq, only one in ten troops is a woman, and she often serves in a unit with few other women or none at all. This isolation, along with the military's deep-seated hostility toward women, causes problems that many female soldiers find as hard to cope with as war itself: degradation, sexual persecution by their comrades, and loneliness, instead of the camaraderie that every soldier depends on for comfort and survival. As one female soldier said, "I ended up waging my own war against an enemy dressed in the same uniform as mine." In The Lonely Soldier, Benedict tells the stories of five women who fought in Iraq between 2003 and 2006. She follows them from their childhoods to their enlistments, then takes them through their training, to war and home again, all the while setting the war's events in context. We meet Jen, white and from a working-class town in the heartland, who still shakes from her wartime traumas; Abbie, who rebelled against a household of liberal Democrats by enlisting in the National Guard; Mickiela, a Mexican American who grew up with a family entangled in L.A. gangs; Terris, an African American mother from D.C. whose childhood was torn by violence; and Eli PaintedCrow, who joined the military to follow Native American tradition and to escape a life of Faulknerian hardship. Between these stories, Benedict weaves those of the forty other Iraq War veterans she interviewed, illuminating the complex issues of war and misogyny, class, race, homophobia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Each of these stories is unique, yet collectively they add up to a heartbreaking picture of the sacrifices women soldiers are making for this country. Benedict ends by showing how these women came to face the truth of war and by offering suggestions for how the military can improve conditions for female soldiers-including distributing women more evenly throughout units and rejecting male recruits with records of violence against women. Humanizing, urgent, and powerful, The Lonely Soldier is a clarion call for change. From the Hardcover edition..

Biography & Autobiography

Escape | Carolyn Jessop,Laura Palmer

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The dramatic first-person account of life inside an ultra-fundamentalist American religious sect, and one woman’s courageous flight to freedom with her eight children. When she was eighteen years old, Carolyn Jessop was coerced into an arranged marriage with a total stranger: a man thirty-two years her senior. Merril Jessop already had three wives. But arranged plural marriages were an integral part of Carolyn’s heritage: She was born into and raised in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), the radical offshoot of the Mormon Church that had settled in small communities along the Arizona-Utah border. Over the next fifteen years, Carolyn had eight children and withstood her husband’s psychological abuse and the watchful eyes of his other wives who were locked in a constant battle for supremacy. Carolyn’s every move was dictated by her husband’s whims. He decided where she lived and how her children would be treated. He controlled the money she earned as a school teacher. He chose when they had sex; Carolyn could only refuse at her own peril. For in the FLDS, a wife’s compliance with her husband determined how much status both she and her children held in the family. Carolyn was miserable for years and wanted out, but she knew that if she tried to leave and got caught, her children would be taken away from her. No woman in the country had ever escaped from the FLDS and managed to get her children out, too. But in 2003, Carolyn chose freedom over fear and fled her home with her eight children. She had $20 to her name. Escape exposes a world tantamount to a prison camp, created by religious fanatics who, in the name of God, deprive their followers the right to make choices, force women to be totally subservient to men, and brainwash children in church-run schools. Against this background, Carolyn Jessop’s flight takes on an extraordinary, inspiring power. Not only did she manage a daring escape from a brutal environment, she became the first woman ever granted full custody of her children in a contested suit involving the FLDS. And in 2006, her reports to the Utah attorney general on church abuses formed a crucial part of the case that led to the arrest of their notorious leader, Warren Jeffs..

Family & Relationships

Secrets and Wives | Sanjiv Bhattacharya

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What do we really know about modern practicing polygamists--not fictional ones like the Henrickson family on HBO's Big Love? We've seen the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the news, the underage brides in pioneer dresses on a Texas ranch. But the FLDS is just one of many groups that have broken with mainstream Mormonism to follow those parts of Joseph Smith's doctrine disavowed by the LDS Church. Gaining unprecedented access to these communities, journalist Sanjiv Bhattacharya reveals a shadow country teeming with small town messiahs, dark secrets, and stories both heartbreaking and strange. Polygamy's dark side--incest, forced marriages, and physical abuse--is laid bare. But Bhattacharya also finds warmth in the fundamentalist diaspora and even finds himself taking an ideological stand for polygamy's legalization. More than just an expose of Mormon polygamy, Secrets and Wives is the personal journey of a foreign atheist and liberal, a stranger in a strange land who grapples with hard questions about marriage, monogamy, and the very nature of faith..

True Crime

Under the Banner of Heaven | Jon Krakauer

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This extraordinary work of investigative journalism takes readers inside America’s isolated Mormon Fundamentalist communities, where some 40,000 people still practice polygamy. Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the renegade leaders of these Taliban-like theocracies are zealots who answer only to God. At the core of Krakauer’s book are brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a commandment from God to kill a blameless woman and her baby girl. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this appalling double murder, Krakauer constructs a multi-layered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, polygamy, savage violence, and unyielding faith. Along the way he uncovers a shadowy offshoot of America’s fastest growing religion, and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief..

True Crime

Stolen Innocence | Elissa Wall,Lisa Pulitzer

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“Both creepy…and quite moving.” —New York Times Book Review “Wall’s story couldn’t be more timely.” —People Stolen Innocence is the gripping New York Times bestselling memoir of Elissa Wall, the courageous former member of Utah’s infamous FLDS polygamist sect whose powerful courtroom testimony helped convict controversial sect leader Warren Jeffs in September 2007. At once shocking, heartbreaking, and inspiring, Wall’s story of subjugation and survival exposes the darkness at the root of this rebel offshoot of the Mormon faith..

Performing Arts

Latter-day Screens | Brenda R. Weber

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From Sister Wives and Big Love to The Book of Mormon on Broadway, Mormons and Mormonism are pervasive throughout American popular media. In Latter-day Screens, Brenda R. Weber argues that mediated Mormonism contests and reconfigures collective notions of gender, sexuality, race, spirituality, capitalism, justice, and individualism. Focusing on Mormonism as both a meme and an analytic, Weber analyzes a wide range of contemporary media produced by those within and those outside of the mainstream and fundamentalist Mormon churches, from reality television to feature films, from blogs to YouTube videos, and from novels to memoirs by people who struggle to find agency and personhood in the shadow of the church's teachings. The broad archive of mediated Mormonism contains socially conservative values, often expressed through neoliberal strategies tied to egalitarianism, meritocracy, and self-actualization, but it also offers a passionate voice of contrast on behalf of plurality and inclusion. In this, mediated Mormonism and the conversations on social justice that it fosters create the pathway toward an inclusive, feminist-friendly, and queer-positive future for a broader culture that uses Mormonism as a gauge to calibrate its own values..

Fiction

A Song for Issy Bradley | Carys Bray

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WINNER OF THE AUTHORS' CLUB BEST FIRST NOVEL AWARD 2015 SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD 2015 AND THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE 2015 Meet the Bradleys. In lots of ways, they’re a normal family: Zippy is sixteen and in love for the first time; Al is thirteen and dreams of playing for Liverpool. And in some ways, they’re a bit different: Seven-year-old Jacob believes in miracles. So does his dad. But these days their mum doesn’t believe in anything, not even getting out of bed. How does life go on, now that Issy is gone?.

History

The Black History of the White House | Clarence Lusane

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The Black History of the White House presents the untold history, racial politics, and shifting significance of the White House as experienced by African Americans, from the generations of enslaved people who helped to build it or were forced to work there to its first black First Family, the Obamas. Clarence Lusane juxtaposes significant events in White House history with the ongoing struggle for democratic, civil, and human rights by black Americans and demonstrates that only during crises have presidents used their authority to advance racial justice. He describes how in 1901 the building was officially named the “White House” amidst a furious backlash against President Roosevelt for inviting Booker T. Washington to dinner, and how that same year that saw the consolidation of white power with the departure of the last black Congressmember elected after the Civil War. Lusane explores how, from its construction in 1792 to its becoming the home of the first black president, the White House has been a prism through which to view the progress and struggles of black Americans seeking full citizenship and justice. “Clarence Lusane is one of America’s most thoughtful and critical thinkers on issues of race, class and power.”—Manning Marable "Barack Obama may be the first black president in the White House, but he's far from the first black person to work in it. In this fascinating history of all the enslaved people, workers and entertainers who spent time in the president's official residence over the years, Clarence Lusane restores the White House to its true colors."—Barbara Ehrenreich "Reading The Black History of the White House shows us how much we DON'T know about our history, politics, and culture. In a very accessible and polished style, Clarence Lusane takes us inside the key national events of the American past and present. He reveals new dimensions of the black presence in the US from revolutionary days to the Obama campaign. Yes, 'black hands built the White House'—enslaved black hands—but they also built this country's economy, political system, and culture, in ways Lusane shows us in great detail. A particularly important feature of this book its personal storytelling: we see black political history through the experiences and insights of little-known participants in great American events. The detailed lives of Washington's slaves seeking freedom, or the complexities of Duke Ellington's relationships with the Truman and Eisenhower White House, show us American racism, and also black America's fierce hunger for freedom, in brand new and very exciting ways. This book would be a great addition to many courses in history, sociology, or ethnic studies courses. Highly recommended!"—Howard Winant "The White House was built with slave labor and at least six US presidents owned slaves during their time in office. With these facts, Clarence Lusane, a political science professor at American University, opens The Black History of the White House(City Lights), a fascinating story of race relations that plays out both on the domestic front and the international stage. As Lusane writes, 'The Lincoln White House resolved the issue of slavery, but not that of racism.' Along with the political calculations surrounding who gets invited to the White House are matters of musical tastes and opinionated first ladies, ingredients that make for good storytelling."—Boston Globe Dr. Clarence Lusane has published in The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, The Baltimore Sun, Oakland Tribune, Black Scholar, and Race and Class. He often appears on PBS, BET, C-SPAN, and other national media..

Literary Criticism

Reality Hunger | David Shields

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A landmark book, “brilliant, thoughtful” (The Atlantic) and “raw and gorgeous” (LA Times), that fast-forwards the discussion of the central artistic issues of our time, from the bestselling author of The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead. Who owns ideas? How clear is the distinction between fiction and nonfiction? Has the velocity of digital culture rendered traditional modes obsolete? Exploring these and related questions, Shields orchestrates a chorus of voices, past and present, to reframe debates about the veracity of memoir and the relevance of the novel. He argues that our culture is obsessed with “reality,” precisely because we experience hardly any, and urgently calls for new forms that embody and convey the fractured nature of contemporary experience..

Fiction

How to Talk to a Widower | Jonathan Tropper

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“A resigned yet hopeful examination of grief with a side of human absurdity . . . warm and modestly knowing, with a wisecracking slacker hero.”—Kirkus Reviews Doug Parker is a widower at age twenty-nine, and in his quiet town, that makes him the object of sympathy, curiosity, and in some cases even unbridled desire. But Doug has more urgent things on his mind, such as his sixteen-year-old stepson, Russ, a once-sweet kid who is now getting into increasingly serious trouble. As Doug starts dipping his toes into the shark-infested waters of the second-time-around dating scene, it isn’t long before his new life is spinning hopelessly out of control, cutting a harrowing and often humorous swath of sexual missteps and escalating chaos across a suburban landscape. How to Talk to a Widower is a stunning novel of love, lust, and loss that USA Today hails as “hilarious but emotion-packed.” Praise for How to Talk to a Widower “[A] winning tale about a man raising his stepson after his wife dies.”—People “Part of Widower’s charm is that there’s no happily ever after, no Cinderella-catches-the-fella ending.” —USA Today “A mixture of mourning and mockery . . . surprisingly moving.”—Entertainment Weekly.

Philosophy

After Marriage | Elizabeth Brake

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This collection of essays by liberal and feminist philosophers addresses the question of whether marriage reform ought to stop with same-sex marriage. Some philosophers have recently argued that marriage is illiberal and should be abolished or radically reformed to include groups and non-romantic friendships. In response, Simon May argues that marriage law can be justified without an illiberal appeal to an ideal relationship type, and Ralph Wedgwood argues that the liberal values which justify same-sex marriage do not justify further extension. Other authors argue for new legal forms for intimate relationships. Marriage abolitionist Clare Chambers argues that piecemeal directives rather than relationship contracts should replace marriage, and Samantha Brennan and Bill Cameron argue for separating marriage and parenting, with parenting rather than marriage becoming, legally and socially, the foundation of the family. Elizabeth Brake argues for a non-hierarchical friendship model for marriage. Peter de Marneffe argues that polygamy should be decriminalized, but that the liberal state need not recognize it, while Laurie Shrage argues that polygamy could be legally structured to protect privacy and equality. Dan Nolan argues for temporary marriage as a legal option, while Anca Gheaus argues that marital commitments are problematic instruments for securing the good of romantic and sexual love. Taken together, these essays challenge contemporary understandings of marriage and the state's role in it..

Social Science

The Suffragettes – Complete History Of the Movement (6 Volumes in One Edition) | Elizabeth Cady Stanton,Susan B. Anthony,Matilda Gage,Harriot Stanton Blatch,Ida H. Harper

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The Suffragettes – Complete History Of the Movement (6 Volumes in One Edition) - Elizabeth Cady Stanton,Susan B. Anthony,Matilda Gage,Harriot Stanton Blatch,Ida H. Harper Preview:

Find out what was the spark which started it all and kept the flame going. Learn about the decades long fight, about the endurance and the strength needed to continue the battle against persistent indifference and injustice. Go back in time and get to know the founders and the followers, the characters of all the strong women involved in the movement. Learn about the organization, witness the backdoor conversations and discussions, read their personal correspondence, impressions and planned tactics. Learn about the relationship between great activists and what caused the fraction. See the movement in its full light and learn what it took to obtain most basic civil rights. Know your history! Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902) was an American suffragist, social activist, abolitionist, and leading figure of the early women's rights movement. Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906) was an American suffragist, social reformer and women's rights activist. Harriot Stanton Blatch (1856-1940) was a suffragist and daughter of Elizabeth Stanton. Matilda Gage (1826–1898) was a suffragist, a Native American rights activist and an abolitionist. Ida H. Harper (1851–1931) was a prominent figure in the United States women's suffrage movement. She was an American author, journalist and biographer of Susan B. Anthony..