BCC Press is Baaaack—and Here is Corianton

After a brief summer hiatus, BCC Press is back with our ELEVENTH book release of 2022. And boy, are we excited.

The Corianton Saga, edited by the inimitable Ardis E. Parshall, represents years of careful archival work, transcribing, and editing a series of documents that, taken together, tell one of the wierdest and most wonderful stories in the Mormon Universe.

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BCC Press Announces: The Burning Book: A Jewish-Mormon Memoir

BCC Press is proud to announce the publication of The Burning Book: A Jewish-Mormon Memoir, by Jason Olson and James Goldberg—the true story of Jason Olson’s conversion from Judaism to Mormonism and his life spent reconciling the two cultures and religions into something beautiful, coherent, and whole. Along with the amazing James Goldberg, one of the Mormon world’s premier novelists and poets, Olson weaves a remarkable story of faith and change that makes room for everybody.

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They’re Here! Sequels to two of BCC Press’s Most Popular Books

Two and a half years ago, BCC Press made the world a better place when we published the first volumes of The Book of Mormon for the Least of These and The Women’s Book of Mormon. You responded by buying them in massive quantities of these volumes and making them two of our bestselling books of all time. And now we are about to do it again with a pair of volume twos.

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BCC Press Presents: Litany with Wings, by Tyler Chadwick

One of the things they tell you in business school is, “focus on what you do better than anyone else.” This is really hard for BCC Press, since we do so many things better than anyone else. But one of the things we do really, really well is poetry. That is why we are pleased, proud, preening, and prancing around to bring you Tyler Chadwick’s new poetry collection, Litany with Wings.

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BCC Press Has a Birthday Present for You

April 6 is the anniversary of so many things: the Restoration of the Church, of course, and possibly the actual birthday of Jesus Christ. It’s disputed. But it is also the date of the historic Battle of Thapsus, when Ceasar defeated the last holdouts of the Senate who were being led by Cato. And the day that Mehmed II began the siege of Constantinople that led to that great city becoming Istanbul. Truly something to sing about. And it is the date in 1930 that Ghandi concluded his epic, salt-making march to the sea.

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BCC Press Introduces Spin, by John Bennion

BCC Press loves John Bennion. He is one of the lions of Mormon literature. His 1991 collection Breeding Leah & Other Stories was one of the first collections of Mormon-is stories to be real literature–you know, the stuff that you can teach to college students and write about for academic journals and be proud that your little subculture of a subculture produces. And his 2000 novel, Falling Toward Heaven joined the ranks of truly top-flight Mormon novels. His more recent books—mystery novels set on the Utah frontier during the waning days of polygamy—are smart, engrossing, and fun (see review here and here).

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Poetry and the Feminine Divine: A BCC Press Spring Sale

It’s spring, and, as we all know, this is the time that Persephone is released from the underworld and returns to Demeter, who, in joy and gratitude, makes the flowers bloom and the weather fair. And nothing says Spring like poetry, and, at BCC Press, we are all about poetry. From now until Mother’s Day, you can get an amazing deal on some amazing poetry by and about women—strong women, lawless women, mothers, daughters, maidens and crones. So celebrate with Demeter and check out our amazing deals on poetry that matters.

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New BCC Press Book: Warner Woodworth’s Radiant Mormonism

Warner Woodworth’s new book Radiant Mormonism is an actual event, and an important one at that. If you don’t believe us, listen to Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Mohammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, and a worldwide leader in micro-finance. Yunus pioneered the practice of giving small, simple-interest loans that impoverished people can use to start their own businesses and raise themselves from poverty. This is what Dr. Yunus has to say:

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BCC Press Announces Scott Abbott’s Dwelling in the Promised Land as a Stranger

It is not by design—but it is certainly a happy accident—that BCC Press is releasing Scott Abbott’s Dwelling in the Promised Land as a Stranger at a time when Brigham Young University is in the news for a number of controversial things. It has always been challenging for the Church’s flagship institution of higher education to balance the competing demands of its mission to provide its students with both an excellent university education and a distinctive religious experience. There are a lot of places where these two things come into conflict, and in its history, BYU has managed to find most of them.

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Announcing Experiment Upon the Word

Last year, when we announced the Essays in Mormon Literature, we proudly crowed that we were unveiling “something big—really big.”  Since then, we have issued the second volume in the series—Mormonism and the Movies—to rave reviews and enthusiastic applause. Today, we are releasing our third volume, Experiment Upon the Word, Frederick Kleiner’s expansive analysis of the Book of Mormon that began life, not merely as a dissertation, but as a German dissertation.  Let us tell you more.

Though the German-born scholar’s name, Kleiner, technically means “smaller,” there is nothing small about Experiment Upon the Word. At 506 pages, it may well pack the most scholarly insight for your money anywhere in the Mormon-Studies world. And it comes with a hefty analytical rigor of the sort that the German academic system demands.

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The Brain’s Lectionary—Something New and Beautiful at BCC Press

The Brain’s Lectionary by Elizabeth Pinborough, cover by Christian Harrison

We have a simple mission at BCC Press. We work with brilliant and creative individuals to create truth and beauty in the world that would otherwise not exist. And sometimes, we do such a good job that pride overwhelms us and we have to repent. We will be repenting a lot this week as we release Elizabeth Pinborough’s true and beautiful new collection of art and poetry, The Brain’s Lectionary: Psalms and Observations.

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Paradoxical Glory—and the Start of a Great New Year for BCC Press

One of the things that makes us happy at BCC Press is poetry. Lots and lots of poetry. And that means that we are going to be really happy this year, as we are coming right out of the gate with a great book of poetry: Paradoxical Glory by Nancy Heiss. As you would expect from BCC Press, the poetry is amazing, possibly life-changing. But wait, there’s more. Along with the great poems, this is also a book of great art–drawing by Brooke Newhart accompany the poems.

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Struggling with Scrupulosity

Taylor Kerby is the author of Scrupulous: My Obsessive Compulsion for God, the most recent book from BCC Press. He is an alumnus of Arizona State University and Claremont Graduate University and is working on a Ph.D. at Grand CanyonUniversity. Scrupulous is on sale for $7.49 (Paperback) and $5.99 (Kindle) through Christmas Day.

When I was a kid, I prayed constantly. At nearly all times there was a revolving appeal to God playing on loop in my head.

Dear Heavenly Father please forgive me for my sins in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

This short prayer was always uttered as a single sentence, without punctuation, and repeated over and over and over again.

Dear Heavenly Father please forgive me for my sins in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
Dear Heavenly Father please forgive me for my sins in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
Dear Heavenly Father please forgive me for my sins in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
Dear Heavenly Father please forgive me for my sins in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
Dear Heavenly Father please forgive me for my sins in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

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A Scientist’s Humility and Why Everyone Needs a George Kneale

This guest post is by Shawn Tucker, Professor of Art and Humanities at Elon College and author of BCC Press’s newest book Humility: A Practical Approach.

Bang! go two hundred feet in unison. She takes a step and, again, Bang! It is her first day of college. She is trying to find a seat in the huge lecture hall. Two hundred white men are already seated. They bang their feet every time she steps. They block every row. She is forced further down the lecture hall with more Bangs! She finally finds a seat. In the front row. With the three other women and a Nigerian. The white male students at Cambridge cannot keep women and minorities out of their school, but they can attempt to shame them, segregate them, intimidate them, and try to tell them they don’t belong.

These were the first experiences that Dr. Alice Stewart had in the 1920s when she began her medical training. Through her career she would face opposition. When she decided to study childhood leukemia, her project was underfunded. When the project started to find unwanted results, it was not her results that were examined. It was her character. And besides being a woman, here was the problem—she was saying that the shiny new tool that doctors were using might be killing patients. Medical professionals, of all people, don’t want to believe that they are harming others. Those doctors’ shiny new tool was x-ray machines. But Dr. Stewart, who clocked thousands of hours collecting and analyzing data, was starting to find that the huge spike in childhood leukemia was linked with fetal x-rays. Here was a woman, and a divorced woman at that, telling doctors that their marvelous x-ray machines were sickening and killing children. You can hear their collective feet go Bang! as they reject that idea.

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A New Book and a Christmas Sale from BCC Press

Paperback: $12.95. $7.49 Kindle: $9.95. $5.99

Humility: A Practical Approach
Just in time for Christmas, BCC Press is deeply, profoundly humbled to bring forth our newest book: Shawn Tucker’s Humility: A Practical Approach (see what we did there?). Shawn Tucker, who professes Art and Humanities at Elon University and has written scholarly books on pride and humility and on virtue in the arts, brings oodles of scholarly cred to the topic of humility.

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BCC Press Announces Mormonism and the Movies

BCC Press is back, just in time for Christmas, with the second installment of our Essays in Mormon Studies series. And this one has been years in the making and is gonna be amazing. Mormonism and the Movies is a collection of scholarly essays—but don’t let that fool you. They are really good essays about movies. And really, what is cooler than that?

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Queer Mormon Theology: An Introduction

It’s Pride Month, and BCC Press could not be prouder to announce our most recent amazing book: Queer Mormon Thelogy: An Introduction by Blaire Ostler.

This is the kind of book that BCC Press was born for: a bold, daring, important book that says the sorts of things that nobody else is willing to say. The book starts with the premise that Mormon theology is inherently queer and always has been and, therefore, better suited than most religious traditions to embrace and celebrate the queerness of the individuals who, collectively, constitute the Kingdom of God.

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BCC Press Mother’s Day Sale

Here at BCC Press, we love mothers. And days. And, of course Mother’s Day. And we are pretty sure that a BCC Press book will be the perfect gift for all of the mothers in your life, be they literal or metaphorical. We’ve got you covered.

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The Giant Joshua – Chapter 17: The Great Smile and the Sequel

From the Maurine Whipple Collection, Brigham Young University
Harold B. Lee Library Special Collections

Thank you for sticking with us this last two months! We end with a discussion of the final, 17th chapter, followed by the story of Maurine’s efforts at producing a sequel, and a synopsis of the sequel. We are excited to say that five excellent completed chapters, along with other lost works of Maurine’s, will soon be published.

A public Zoom event will be held on Sunday, October 11, 8:00 pm Mountain Time (7:00 pm Pacific), where all can come and share their questions and comments on The Giant Joshua and Maurine Whipple. The event will feature several people who knew Maurine personally sharing their memories of her, including the poet Carol Lynn Pearson, Maurine’s biographer Veda Hale, the author Marilyn Brown, and the publisher Curtis Taylor. It will last 90 minutes. Anyone interested in Mormon literature or Mormon history is invited to attend and participate.

Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 856 9861 2887

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The Giant Joshua, Chapters 15 and 16: Polygamy raids, life on the underground, and the real-life stories behind the novel

Portrait of Mormon polygamists in prison, at the Utah Penitentiary, circa 1889. Photo by Charles Roscoe Savage/Harold B. Lee Library/Creative Commons

By Andrew Hall

We are nearing the end of this monumental novel, with only the final, 17th chapter to cover next week. As we previously announced, we will hold a Zoom event on Sunday, October 11, 8:00 pm Mountain Time (7:00 pm Pacific), where all can come and share their questions and comments on The Giant Joshua. The event will feature several people who knew Maurine personally sharing their memories of her, including the poet Carol Lynn Pearson, Maurine’s biographer Veda Hale, the author Marilyn Brown, and the publisher Curtis Taylor. Lynne Larson and I, who have been writing these weekly posts, will also attend. All who have read or are reading the novel are invited to attend and participate.

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Fall is the time for a Bountiful Harvest from BCC Press

Christian Harrison and Jon Forsyth brought art and design together for the cover.

We’re just days away from stepping into fall, and here at BCC Press we promise you books that are ripe for the picking — get ready to gather them all. 

The first of our autumnal offerings is Charity Shumway’s latest book, Bountiful. It’s a warm, funny, and perceptive family novel about the complex relationships between parents and their adult children, and the ongoing negotiations required to maintain a place in a beloved community. 

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The Giant Joshua, Chapters 11-12: Polygamy and Postmemory

by Sarah C. Reed

Inside the St. George Tabernacle

“Hell ain’t got no terrors for me after Dixie!” (The Giant Joshua, 406)

These two chapters see tribulations continue to come to our main characters, but with opportunities for happiness and reconciliation. With the plague of the black canker passed, taking many children, including Clory’s three, Erastus Snow calls a meeting to reassure the saints. He asks them to remember their trials with sickness in Nauvoo and Winter Quarters. Some would like to leave, but Erastus shames them as cowards lacking faith and promises things will improve.

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The Giant Joshua — Chapters Nine and Ten

By Lynne Larson

“That was it, she thought, that which would sustain her . . . the Light was still hers, growing brighter as one gained wisdom . . . The wave of joy broke, and the dazzling spray flooded her with love, faith, divine goodness.”

It is soul-piercing grief that haunts these hundred pages – Chapters Nine and Ten – and unfathomable loss of her beloved Freeborn and her three children that points Clory toward the maturity of spirit required to recognize the “Light” of the above quotation and survive her circumstances. The ultimate victory will be hard-won.

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Maurine Whipple and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: A complicated relationship (Chapters 7 and 8)

by Andrew Hall

Maurine Whipple and Hyrum Lee, 1927. The two dated while Maurine worked as a teacher in Monroe, Utah. 

I’ll start today’s post with brief review of the themes in Chapters Seven and Eight, and then spend the majority of the post on a discussion of Maurine Whipple’s lifetime relationship with the Church.

Themes of Chapters Seven and Eight

These chapters are long and full of interesting stories, incidents, and conversations. There is little of the descriptions of the natural environment or introspective passages found in the previous chapters.

The chapters feature Willie and Clory’s pregnancies and births. Willie’s baby is stillborn. Clory is shocked that not only does Abijah refuse to call a doctor (to show faith) but Bathsheba, a trained midwife, refuses to help because she thinks it is too early. She is wrong, and only Clory is there to help her with the birth. Clory, in her anger, foolishly gives Bathsheba the right to raise her unborn child. After she successfully gives birth to her daughter, Kissy, she scares the superstitious Bathsheba off by claiming she had placed a hex on the baby. Clory is enraptured with her baby, and feels the increased power it gives her in the family.

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The Giant Joshua – Chapters Five and Six: Community unity and Native Americans

By Lynne Larson      

“You couldn’t whip the desert without togetherness. The Group Faith — the ability to live outside oneself, to sacrifice oneself for the Common Good. Some day they would be strong enough to afford dissenters — now salvation lay only in complete and disciplined togetherness. Except ye are one, ye are not mine . . . You had to be ruthless to colonize.”

As Chapter Five of The Giant Joshua begins, the relentless rain has eased, but the storm, and with it the swelling of the Virgin River, has struck at the hearts of the people and reminded them that they must stand together to survive, united in their faith and in their willingness to follow strict injunctions. Food supplies have been reduced to a “grim measure.” Sickness has run riot through the camp, and ‘Sheba fears that the burial clothes will mold before she can get a lifeless body ready for the grave.

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The Giant Joshua, Chapters Three and Four

By Andrew Hall

These chapters present a microcosm of several themes and conflicts found in the novel, including stirring depictions of the faith that led the pioneer Saints to make such enormous sacrifices in their mission of building a Zion society. Here too, we see some of the less appealing aspects of the colonizing generation—its fear and cruelty towards Native Americans, its child marriages, and the heartbreak that could result from plural marriage.

St. George pioneers and the tragic price of faith
Chapter Three opens with the Saints having just arrived in what would become St. George in 1861. Whipple provides a geographic description by having Apostle Erastus Snow, the real-life leader of the Cotton Mission, observe the valley from the Sugar Loaf, a high steep rock in the red cliffs to the north. At this point, he sees his people still living in their tents and wagons, but he will return often to that spot as the settlement grows, and the Sugar Loaf becomes a landmark for the town.

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The Giant Joshua – Chapters One and Two

By Lynne Larson

White and crimson, or black and yellow and blue — behind her and ahead and around her — spewed in fantastic violence, in every shade and nuance, the colors of this unreal landscape glittered with such intensity that she closed her eyes and for a moment her breath clung to her throat. She felt hemmed in with untamed, imponderable forces . . . between the two black ridges lay the valley of sagebrush where she was going to spend the rest of her life — the valley that was already named, President Young had told them, the city of St. George. (The Giant Joshua, p. 3-4)

            As Maurine Whipple’s heroine, Clorinda MacIntyre is vividly presented with her new home in the first pages of The Giant Joshua, we as readers are introduced to “Clory” herself, and we meet a dozen other sharply-drawn characters as well. We will come to intimately know them all as we turn the pages of  the novel. There is bearded, rigid Abijah, with his Scottish brogue, the strict family patriarch, whom the teenaged Clory has recently married. At this point, he is still ‘Uncle Abijah’ to her, since the marriage has not yet been consummated, an event she is anticipating with both apprehension and girlish curiosity. There are Bathsheba and Wilhelmina, Abijah’s other wives, the former mean-spirited, imperious, and superstitious, with a prominent wart on her jutting chin, the latter soft, shy, easily subdued, and surely Bathsheba’s foil. With these are Abijah’s sons, including Freeborn, enraptured with pretty Clory, as any teenaged boy might be. The band of pioneers includes cheery Lon Tuckett, a tailor who loves to sing and quote original verse through all his hardships, and his very pregnant German immigrant wife Betsy. Also the Hichinopers, a happy couple so worried about their firstborn baby, they carry it up hill and down on a pillow, lest it ever feel neglected. They and the others make up a caravan of Saints sent by Brigham Young to establish the Cotton Mission in southern Utah’s Dixie.

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BCC Late Summer Book Club: The Giant Joshua

By Andrew Hall and Lynne Larson

Welcome to the BCC Late Summer Book Club!

For the next eight weeks we will be reading Maurine Whipple’s The Giant Joshua, which is widely considered to be Mormonism’s greatest novel. Maurine Whipple is an enigmatic figure—in 1938 at age 35 she was broke, divorced and depressed, a failed grade school teacher who wrote obsessively but who had never published a substantial work. In that year, however, she was awarded a Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship for new writers, and the coveted prize allowed her to take pen in hand, let her genius flower, and create her masterpiece. Over the next two years she worked feverishly on The Giant Joshua, the epic story of the 1861 settlers of St. George. 

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Another BCC Press Sunstone Sale–All Ebooks $4.99. Are we nuts?

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In case you missed the memo, BCC Press has developed a new web site and unveiled it at this year’s all-online Sunstone Sumposium. You have already seen Bob Rees’s book that we launched today as part of this grand unveiling. By Common Consent. And you know that we are selling all books by Sunstone Symposium speakers for 25% off.

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BCC Press Is Thrilled to Announce: A New Book by Bob Rees

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By Common Consent is thrilled to announce our newest book–and our fourth book of the year to celebrate and examine the Book of Mormon. We lead off the first half of the year with The Book of Mormon for the Least of These by Fatimeh Salleh and Margaret Olsen Hemming, which has gone on to become our of the top-selling volumes in BCC Press history. We also published Mette Harrison’s book The Women’s Book of Mormon and Michael Austin’s Buried Treasures. We are proud to announce the capstone of our Year of the Book of Mormon with Robert A. Rees’s A New Witness to the World. (Kindle version here).

A New Witness to the World, which has been years in the making, contains thirteen essays by one of Mormonism’s most distinguished scholars. Bob Rees has been active in Mormon Studies for nearly sixty years. He was one of the Founding Parents of Dialogue and the journal’s second editor. During all of this time, Bob has been studying both the Book of Mormon and the religion it created, andd he has done so with the fine eye of a literary critic and the precision of an expert scholar.

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