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Flying over Babel by Johnny Townsend

Flying over Babel

by Johnny Townsend

278 pages
Life for unconventional Mormons can sometimes be difficult and complicated.

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Category: Fiction:Literary
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About the Book
How do you ask a girl on a date when everyone in town knows your father was convicted for the serial murders of a dozen prostitutes? What's the best way to get your boyfriend to propose--fake a pregnancy or threaten to go on a mission for the Church? Will the torture of electroshock therapy turn a gay BYU student straight? How do two victims of child abuse move forward to create their own family? Can a man learn to trust again after being abandoned by everyone he's ever loved? What happens when the beauty and peace of the Millennium just aren't enough to make you happy? In Johnny Townsend's compelling new collection of Mormon stories, there is an acknowledgment of the real evil that exists around us, and an awareness of the difficult compromises we sometimes make in order to live in an imperfect world.

 

Reviews
Flying over Babel is "an insightful, witty portrait of the human experience."
- Carol Davala, The US Review of Books

 

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    Religious lies--when the truth alone isn't quite good enough.
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    When the Prophet has spoken, the thinking is done!
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    The secret lives and hidden desires of Mormon missionaries.
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    Mormons navigate both faith and obedience to extreme beliefs.
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    Mormons and Ex-Mormons grapple with the difficulties of life.
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    Mormons protest injustice both in and out of the Church.
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    At Judgment Day, Mormon misfits face their eternal fate.
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    In these stories, a missionary copes with the startling discovery that his companion has been translated off the face of the Earth. A lonely woman gives birth to a child fathered by one of the Three Nephites. A schizophrenic woman leads a secret life no one in her congregation suspects.
  • The Last Days Linger by Johnny Townsend
    The scriptures tell us that in the Last Days, wickedness will increase upon the Earth. When the Mormon Church sees a rise in the number of gay members, they believe the end is upon them. But sometimes, being gay provides just the right ingredient to create saints.
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    The stories in this collection of the Mormon faithful show that while moats may be good at keeping people out who want to come in, they are also quite effective at keeping people in who want to get out. And the stench from their fetid waters often proves unbearable.
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    Mental illness can strike the faithful as easily as anyone else. But often religious doctrine and practice exacerbate rather than alleviate these problems. From schizophrenia to obsessive-compulsive disorder, from persecution complex to sexual dysfunction, Mormons must cope with their mental as well as their spiritual health on a daily basis.

 

About the Author
Johnny Townsend Johnny Townsend has published stories and essays in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Humanist, The Progressive, Christopher Street, The Massachusetts Review, Glimmer Train, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, in the anthologies Queer Fish and In Our Lovely Deseret: Mormon Fictions, and in many other publications.

 

 

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