Announcing Two New Series from BCC Press

If you haven’t heard from BCC Press in a while, it is probably because we are up to something big. And, indeed we are. And today we proudly unveil something big. Really big.

For much of the 2020, we have been developing plans for two new book series that we hope will become important contributions to Mormon Studies. The series are highly interrelated, but also distinct in important ways.

The first series is “Essays in Mormon Studies.” This series will feature original works of scholarship and analysis of the Mormon experience. We could not be prouder of our first book in this series: Reapproaching Zion, edited by Sam Brunson and Nate Oman. Written to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Hugh Nibley’s Approaching Zion (1989), Reapproaching Zion includes essays by Brunson and Oman, along with stellar contributions from Robert Couch, Russell Arben Fox, David Gore, Jeremiah John, Richard Oman, and Rosalynde Welch. These essays examine the sacred ideal of Zion amidst contemporary ideas of community and society. And they amplify the social criticisms that Nibley made throughout his storied career.

Future volumes in this series will explore film, literature, music, politics, and every other area of the world where Mormons live in the wild and interact with people, ideas, and cultures. They’re going to be good.

The second series we launch today is the “Classics in Mormon Literature” series. This is a reprint series designed to republish lost and forgotten works. Our lofty goal is to build a canon. A tradition. And a heritage that can guide Mormon literature to a glorious future by giving it a scandalous past. Our first volume in this series could not be more important to the effort. Craving for Beauty: The Collected Writings of Maurine Whipple is a heroic work of scholarship, finding, editing, and releasing the works of one of Mormonism’s most acclaimed fiction writers and the author of perhaps our greatest novel, The Giant Joshua. This includes short stories and personal sketches that have never been published anywhere. And it includes drafts of Whipple’s two unfinished novels.

The editors of this new volume–Veda Hale, Andrew Hall, and Lynne Larson–have spent years haunting the archives and searching in every nook and cranny to find stories, magazine articles, scraps of novels, and everything else that Whipple wrote, and their final product is just remarkable. Here is the table of contents and the introduction for free:

Future volumes in this series will include a two-volume collection of the works of Josephine Spencer and critical editions of B.H. Roberts Corianton and Orson F. Whitney’s epic poem “Elias.” So don’t go away; ‘cause we aren’t going anywhere.


  1. Chad Nielsen says:

    This is really exciting to hear! I look forward to both series.

  2. Thank you BCC Press for championing these series! Veda, Lynne, and I are excited for Whipple’s excellent writing to be made available to the public.

    A sentence was cut off in the blog text, starting with “it includes drafts of Whipple’s two . . .” You probably meant to say it includes two unfinished novels. First “The Arizona Strip”, which was based on the true story of the outlaw Jack Weston his girlfriend Daisy Butler, who terrorized Southern Utah with a string of robberies, managing to flee each time over the border to the largely lawless Arizona Strip (the section of Arizona north of the Grand Canyon). Lewis Fife, an Iron County sheriff, caught up with Weston and Butler in a Utah wilderness area, but they overpowered him and left him handcuffed him to a tree, leaving him to what they thought was a certain death. The novel imagines how these two young people got drawn into their lives of crime, their relationship with the sheriff, and the three people’s collective fates. While Whipple did not complete the novel, she did leave a detailed description of her plans for the final chapters, so you don’t need to worry about being left on a cliffhanger.

    The second unfinished novel is Cleave the Wood, the planned sequel to The Giant Joshua. There are five long chapters, as well as a detailed summary of the plans for the full novel. It tells the story of Jim, the son of Clory and Abijah, who was scarred from witnessing his mother’s struggles and his father’s cruelty, and flees St. George to become a cowboy on the Arizona Strip. The first four chapters are set in 1893, six years after Clory’s death at the end of The Giant Joshua. Jim returns to St. George, and questions whether he has a place in the community and the Church. The final part of the novel, set around 1920, centers around Jim’s daughter Lenzi, her departure to the East to train as a classical singer, and her decision on whether to return to her home and faith in Southern Utah.

  3. Randall P. says:

    Will these be available electronically? Trying to do my part to reduce and all…

  4. Michael Austin says:

    Yes, the Kindle versions of both books will be out very (very, very) soon.

    –The management

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