An Interview with Jennifer Quist, Author of Sistering, Winner of the 2015 AML Novel Award
Jennifer Quist is a journalist and novelist from Edmonton, Alberta. Her first novel, Love Letters from the Angel of Death (2013), was a finalist for the Whitney Award and the basis of her Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s Emerging Artist Award in 2014. Her second novel, Sistering, won the 2015 Association for Mormon Letters Award for the Novel, was long-listed for the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award, and was named a “Must-Read” of the 2015 fall season by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The interview was conducted by Michael Austin.
Let’s start with the biographical details. Could you briefly describe your life so far? Start from the beginning and go up to the point that you decided to become a rich and famous writer.
I was born in a remote pulp-mill town in the northern boreal forest. My father was ambitious and restless and moved our family all over the immense country of Canada. By the time I graduated from high school, I had gone to eleven different schools. It would have been lonely if it weren’t for my close sibling group of seven, our ward families, and the grace of God that unfailingly sent me the few good friends I prayed for everywhere we went. Continue Reading →
by Jennifer Quist. Reposted by permission.
This 25 year old mother of two is me. Lazy butt had written precisely zero novels.
Enough people have asked how I managed to write two novels while at home with my kids that I thought I’d better craft an answer a little more thoughtful than “by being a crap mother.” Here it is, some very honest and probably very bad advice on how to launch a writing career while masterminding a large, young household.
Continue Reading →
We continue to present “New Voices”—book reviews from students in Shelah Miner’s Mormon Literature course at BYU-Salt Lake. The next set of books are by Olivia Christensen (Love Letters of the Angels of Death, by Jennifer Quist), Jackson Sheffield (City of Brick and Shadow, by Tim Wirkus), and Benjamin Lambson (Dispirited, by Luisa Perkins). Please be encouraging towards these students, most of whom are new to college-level writing assignments. The included lots of spoiler information in the reviews, I labeled the parts where one might want to skip to the end of the paragraph.
Love Letters of the Angels of Death, by Jennifer Quist. Reviewed by Olivia Coulston.
This story is about living and loving, life and death. It begins with a couple finding the husband’s mother dead in her trailer. They are left to tie up all of the lose ends after her death and come to grasp the fact that they will be close to the death of loved ones throughout their lives. Each chapter or “love letter” is a flashback from their lives together, written about the wife (Carrie) from the husband’s perspective. There are segments from Carrie’s life, such as losing her grandfather as a child, and witnessing a car accident as a teenager. These flashbacks do not have a particular order to them, but it all seems to flow nicely. [Spoiler alert: You might want to skip the rest of the paragraph.] The main theme throughout the book seemed to be the impending death of the writer/husband Brigs, following moments in their lives, including their courtship, marriage, childbirth and childrearing. As a reader you grow to love the relationship that Carrie and Brigs have. It is very unique (and confusing at first) to be reading about Carrie’s life through the lens of Brigs because you see how much he truly and deeply cares for his wife. In the end Brigs does end up dying in a car accident and Carrie is left to be the angel of death that she has throughout her life, and deals with the loss of her one true love. Continue Reading →
This is the fifth “New Voices” collection of reviews from Shelah Miner’s Mormon Literature students at BYU-Salt Lake. These four reviews are from the second assignment, reviews of “literary novels” by Mormon authors. The reviewers are Jenna Rakuita (Austenland by Shannon Hale), Mckenzie White (Love Letters of the Angel of Death by Jennifer Quist), Kyleigh Pay (BYUCK, by Theric Jepson), and Ray Feinga (The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall). Please be encouraging towards the students, most of whom are new to college-level writing assignments.
Austenland, by Shannon Hale
Reviewed by Jenna Rakuita
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman must be in want of a man. But not just any man: a snobbish and haughty English aristocrat who does not associate himself with the lower class. This man is known as Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy (swoon!).
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy.
Just the sound of his name makes women want to powder their nose, and search for the perfect man. Oh, could he really exist? The hopeful always seem to ask themselves on, yet another, Friday night spent alone. Shannon Hale has created the picture perfect destined-to-be-a-spinster-for-life character in Jane Hayes: a thirty-something New Yorker with a terrible secret. A dirty, little, rotten secret that has been following her around for far too long. Continue Reading →
Last year I wrote about five books that have shaped my sense of what Mormon literature can be. This year I can share five works that have fine-tuned this sense. It’s been a dandy of year.
(Although my slapdash image-making for this post should impress no one.)
Mormon X: Confessions of a Latter-day Mutant by Ben Christensen Continue Reading →