From Religion Dispatches – USC Annenberg – by Joanna Brooks / June 1, 1016
“Who do you think you are—to want to be a writer?” These are the words that haunt the young Mormon girl who is the protagonist of Judith Freeman’s new memoir, The Latter Days (Pantheon). Freeman, whose breakout novel The Chinchilla Farm (Norton, 1989) established her as one of the first Mormon writers to gain a national standing in literary fiction, wrote three more novels before turning finally to non-fiction to grapple with her Mormon upbringing. After looking up to her for almost three decades as the rare Mormon woman writer who made it, I interviewed Freeman this week, just in advance of Latter Days’ June 7 release.
Joanna Brooks: I don’t know that there has been a more effective mapping of the subterranean emotional landscapes of day-to-day American religious life than Latter Days. But after so many years writing fiction, why a memoir now?