Parting the Mormon Veil: Phyllis Barber’s Writing
This book is an invitation to discover Mormon culture and literature from a very personal perspective, as well as a fascinating trip into Phyllis Barber’s literary territory, a vast extension of physical and emotional land, where borders get crossed and time knits nets that transcend the narrative. Angel Chaparro analyzes the social and cultural blueprint of Barber’s fiction and autobiographies, scrutinizes the influence of Mormon culture, American Western landscape and historical events in her writing, and tries to anticipate the space that her books occupy in the ongoing development of Mormon literature and Western American culture. His pathbreaking analysis is preceded by a history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a survey of Mormon literature, and as such, it provides a panoptic exposure of the tradition that supplies the author’s works with that indispensable context. Barber’s writing is meaningful to Mormons who understand the context and the nature of her stories, but it also provides a new perspective for those interested in the Western experience. In fact, it is valuable to anyone interested in human feelings and the conflicts engendered by the clash that can occur between the individual and the community.