Zarahemla Books



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Zarahemla publishes provocative, unconventional, yet ultimately faith-affirming stories that yield new insights into Mormon culture and humanity.

“Zarahemla Books is, in my opinion, the most valuable brand in Mormon letters today. I can’t think of another publisher (of any type) whose books I’m as likely to pick up just because of who published them. . . . Zarahemla keeps proving my faith in them well placed. They’re the Pixar of Mo lit!”

—Theric Jepson, A Motley Vision


Millstone City” by S. P. Bailey (2012)
Book review by William Morris, founder of the Mormon arts and culture blog A Motley Vision: “In Millstone City, the LDS mission novel and the thriller collide to create something new: an intense, gritty story that is nevertheless shot through with resilience, honesty, optimism, and, yes, that certain willful naïveté that missionaries possess. Call it Mormon neo-noir. Or full-throttle faithful realism.”

The Fading Flower & Swallow the Sun” – two plays by Mahonri Stewart
Review of “The Fading Flower” by Nan McCulloch, Association for Mormon Letters: “Powerful and beautifully written . . . I am appreciative of Stewart’s courage in writing this bold, candid, historically authentic work honoring Emma Hale Smith. The play is an important historical achievement.”
Review of “Swallow the Sun” by Rodger L. Hardy, Deseret News: “Intriguing and compelling production . . . the story line is wonderful. Swallow the Sun is an original play well worth seeing.”

Dispirited” by Luisa M. Perkins (2012)
Book review by Glen Nelson, director, Mormon Artists Group: “In Luisa Perkins’s new novel, a teenage girl discovers that a young boy’s spirit can shake loose of his body, and she sets out on a daring quest to restore everything to its proper place. Its storytelling is propulsive, taut—without a single unnecessary word—vivid, romantic, and fascinating.”

The Death of a Disco Dancer” by David Clark (2011)
Book review by Angela Hallstrom, author of “Bound on Earth”: “Clark vividly captures the perils and joys of early adolescence in the 1980s. By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, this novel is a meditation on the meaning of sacrifice and the transforming responsibility of familial love.”

Wasatch: Mormon Stories & Novella” by Douglas Thayer (2011)
Book review by Richard Cracroft, emeritus professor of English, BYU: “LDS literary fiction at its finest, written with Thayer’s crisp style and shot through with his trademark irony, tempered by his faith.”

Hooligan: A Mormon Boyhood” – a memoir by Douglas Thayer (2007)
Book review by Orson Scott Card: “One of the finest writers the LDS Church has yet produced has now turned his talent to his own growing-up years. Entertaining, wise—and it’s even true.”

Light of the New Day” by Darin Cozzens (2010)
Book review by Margaret Blair Young, coauthor of the Standing on the Promises trilogy: “Cozzens’s stories are like rivulets of irrigation water to parched earth. Within this volume are unexpectedly beautiful or surprising moments in the most unadorned places.

What of the Night?” – personal essays by Stephen Carter (2010)
Book review by Angela Hallstrom, author of “Bound on Earth,” editor of Irreantum: “Carter’s essays are smart, funny, and full of charity. His work exemplifies how powerful it can be to write from a place of love, even when—especially when—the stories we tell aren’t the easy ones. Read this book and savor it!”

Dispensation: Latter-Day Fiction” – edited by Angela Hallstrom (2010)
Dispensation: Latter-Day Fiction anthologizes the best Mormon short stories written near the turn of the twenty-first century. Each of the extraordinary twenty-eight stories in this volume represents a potent individual voice, from popular and nationally acclaimed authors Brady Udall and Orson Scott Card, to well-respected Mormon literature veterans Douglas Thayer and Margaret Blair Young, to talented up-and-coming writers Lisa Madsen Rubilar and Todd Robert Petersen, and many more. Taken individually, each story is an example of the surprise and power and even joy readers can find in a finely wrought piece of short fiction. Considered collectively, these stories herald a new era of excellence in Mormon literature.

Rift” by Todd Robert Petersen (2009)
Book review by Brady Udall, author of “Letting Loose the Hounds” and “The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint”: “What a pleasure to read the work of a writer who understands and can accurately portray the small, out-of-the-way parts of this world where honor, generosity, and sheer cussedness are still operative principles. With Rift, Todd Petersen has written a funny and tough-minded account of a place where family, faith, and community still come first.”

No Going Back” by Jonathan Langford (2009)
Book review by William Morris, founder of the Mormon arts and culture blog A Motley Vision: “By telling the story simply, tying it to a particular time and place, and focusing on the teenage protagonists, Langford is able to confine the discussion of this issue to a manageable narrative—and a compelling one. The approach Langford takes is genius. I love the way he threads the middle of American Mormon mores, doctrine, and practice in a way that is in some senses mundane—this is basically a domestic drama—but also incredibly radical. These teenagers act like teenagers, even though they are basically good kids. Any discussion of same-sex attraction makes a lot of Mormons uncomfortable. But the novel is thoroughly orthodox. Its characters are orthodox Mormons. Its tensions and ultimate solutions and resolutions are firmly rooted in active LDS life—prayer, scripture study, repentance, the priesthood, love, charity, hope, the family.”

The Tree House” by Douglas Thayer (2009)
Book review by Richard Cracroft, BYU professor of English, emeritus: “I was totally engrossed in The Tree House. The depictions of Harris growing up in Provo, serving an LDS mission in post-war Germany, and fighting in the Korean War are excellently crafted. I’ve never read a better or more gripping treatment of men at war. Thayer’s characters and places are real; they are alive. This novel is literature, and reading it is a splendid experience.”

On the Road to Heaven” – autobiographical novel by Coke Newell (2007)
Book review by Richard Bushman, author of “Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling”: “I have never read such a gripping story of conversion and missionary labor. It held me fast partly because of the winsome romance mixed into the story of a mountain hippie who finds life’s meaning in Mormonism. But the gritty descriptions of friendship and adventure in the Colorado wilderness and of missionaries working the mean streets of Colombia are enthralling in themselves. The candid view of the vicissitudes of a spiritual life will startle readers accustomed to more staid narratives.”

Long After Dark” – stories and a novella by Todd Robert Petersen (2007) – (Kindle e-book only)
Book review by Heidi Hart, author of “Grace Notes: The Waking of a Woman’s Voice”: “Long After Dark sets a new standard for Mormon literature. Its language is pitch-perfect, its insight often shattering. A world-wise, honest, and compassionate book.”

Angel Falling Softly” by Eugene Woodbury (2009)
Book review by Stephen Carter, Sunstone magazine editor: “What if I told you that one of the best Mormon novels ever written is a vampire story? Angel Falling Softly is proof positive that Mormon fiction is not dead. And even if it was, Woodbury has called it from its grave, bestowed it with immortality, and given it a mighty fine set of literary fangs.”

Hunting Gideon” by Jessica Draper (2007)
Book review by Zog Book Devourer: “Jessica’s prose is immediately engaging and compelling. This story is one of a young woman hunting a criminal through colorfully and imaginatively detailed cyberspace. Our heroine is immediately likable, while the antagonist is her equal in all respects, charming, elusive, and dangerous. This book caught me early in my reading, and I savored every page of it. I particularly appreciated the author’s style, although prosaic and rhetorical, also reflects wit and intellect beyond the standard 6th grade reading level common in fiction today.”

Brother Brigham” by D. Michael Martindale (2007)
Book review by Christopher Kimball Bigelow, author: “This is one of the wildest rides I’ve ever enjoyed in a novel, Mormon or otherwise. Like Stephen King, Martindale captures the earthy rhythms of daily life as the characters get caught up in bizarre, harrowing events. Outrageous and yet chillingly plausible within the LDS belief system, this gutsy, expertly rendered story breaks new ground in Mormon entertainment.”

Kindred Spirits” by Christopher Kimball Bigelow (2007)
Book review by Lisa Torcasso Downing, author: “I know a book has struck a nerve when, after I finish, I feel so intimately connected to the characters that I half-expect them to meet me for lunch. The cast is phenomenally crafted—these people are real. In Kindred Spirits, Bigelow serves up ideologic meat, yet I often found myself chuckling.”