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Heartbreaking and timely novel by Afghan-American author follows one mans journey from New York to the clutches of the Taliban and into an unintentional polygamist union. He is picking up the same bags with the same clothes Lisa packed and folded a year ago. He wishes he were like his clothes, untouched by external forces. Family man Nick Blake is living in New York City and working for the United Nations. Born and raised in the United States with broad knowledge of the Afghan culture, he is living the All-American life with his wife, Lisa, and their children. His life is turned upside down when, while on a diplomatic mission to Afghanistan, Nick is kidnapped and finds himself in the clutches of the Taliban. Omar Farhads debut novel Honor and Polygamy follows Nick throughout his eighteen months in Afghanistan and the devastating and unexpected turns his life takes, as he learns the true meanings of home, history and culture. After being held captive for several months, Nick is forced to marry the sixteen-year-old Shaista. Although he cannot forget his beloved wife and children back home, he finds himself falling in love with his second wife and, overwhelmed with guilt, is torn between his old life and his new one. Honor and Polygamy is far from simply a captivating fiction story, but is also a brilliant commentary on the United States situation with Afghanistan. Farhad expresses his views on both the political and the cultural sides of Afghanistan. Politically, he is predicting how he feels the war will ultimately end, while culturally, he shows readers not familiar with Afghanistan that the 35-year-old war has created a population, which is uneducated, disloyal, and without identity. The United States and many other nations have continuously disrupted Afghanistan with no clear political objectives, and, in his novel, Farhad explores the consequences of these actions. The story of Nick Blake represents the reality of the Afghan culture and the results and disappointments of the political realities in Afghanistan, and shows readers just how unaware we all are of other cultures. Written by an author who has lived both the American and Afghan ways of life, Honor and Polygamy is a harrowing, haunting and deeply moving tale for our times.
In the last several years a wealth of information has been published on Joseph Smith's practice of polygamy. For some who were already well aware of this aspect of early Mormon history, the availability of new research and discovered documents has been a wellspring of further insight and knowledge into this topic. For others who are learning of Joseph's marriages to other women for the first time, these books and online publications can be both an information overload and a challenge to one's faith. In this short volume, Brian C. Hales (author of the 3-volume Joseph Smith's Polygamy: History and Theology) and Laura H. Hales wade through the murky waters of history to help bring some clarity to this episode of Mormonism's past. As Joseph Smith's participation in plural marriage involved more than just the Prophet and his first wife Emma, this volume also includes short biographical sketches of the 35 other women who were sealed to Joseph but whose stories of faith, struggle, and courage have been largely forgotten and ignored over time. While we may never fully understand the details and reasons surrounding this practice, Brian and Laura Hales provide readers with an accessible, forthright, and faithful look into this challenging topic so that we can at least come toward a better understanding. Praise for Joseph Smith's Polygamy: Toward a Better Understanding "Few matters of LDS history have proven to be as faith-sensitive as Joseph Smith's plural marriages. While a number of efforts have been made in recent years to shed light on this challenging phenomenon, nothing has brought greater clarity, enlightenment, and, particularly for believing Saints, spiritual reassurance, than has the work of researcher Brian Hales. He and his wife Laura have now rendered a monumental service to Mormons and interested observers by bringing clarity and better understanding to this topic. I for one am grateful for the context, perspective, and both straightforward and faithful answers provided for so many of the questions surrounding Nauvoo polygamy. It is a book that will be read and discussed for years to come." - Robert L. Millet, Professor Emeritus of Religious Education, Brigham Young University
An informative outline of the secret origins of Mormon polygamy, the peculiarities of the early practice, "unofficial" polygamous marriages at the turn-of-the-century and present-day fundamentalist Mormon groups which still practice polygamy.
"Polygamy?" says the mainstream Mormon Church. "We gave that up long ago." Not so, claims noted LDS poet and author Carol Lynn Pearson, who examines the issue as it has never been examined before. Any member of the LDS Church today who enters the practice of polygamy is immediately excommunicated. However, Pearson claims, polygamy itself has never been excommunicated, but has an honored and protected place at the table. It has only been postponed, a fact confirmed by thousands of "eternal sealings" giving a man an assurance that he will claim as wives in heaven the two, three, or even more women he has sequentially married during his lifetime. No such opportunity is available to women. Through her own personal stories, those of her ancestors, and the thousands of stories that came to her through an Internet survey, Pearson shows the power of the Ghost of Eternal Polygamy as it not only waits on the other side to greet the most righteous in heaven, but also haunts the living-hiding in the recesses of the Mormon psyche, inflicting profound pain and fear, assuring women that they are still objects, harming or destroying marriages, bringing chaos to family relationships, leading many to lose faith in the church and in God. Mormon historian and author Dr. Gregory Prince says of The Ghost of Eternal Polygamy: "Carol Lynn Pearson has hit a home run in her quest to illuminate both the damage that Mormonism's de facto practice of polygamy continues to inflict, and the route to a better, more humane place. Those who truly hope for eternal polygamy or who resent any call to institutional reform will be upset, but countless others will rejoice that she has shown 'a more excellent way.' "
Rebecca Musser grew up in fear, concealing her family's polygamous lifestyle from the "dangerous" outside world. Covered head-to-toe in strict, modest clothing, she received a rigorous education at Alta Academy, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' school headed by Warren Jeffs. Always seeking to be an obedient Priesthood girl, in her teens she became the nineteenth wife of her people's prophet: 85-year-old Rulon Jeffs, Warren's father. Finally sickened by the abuse she suffered and saw around her, she pulled off a daring escape and sought to build a new life and family. The church, however, had a way of pulling her back in-and by 2007, Rebecca had no choice but to take the witness stand against the new prophet of the FLDS in order to protect her little sisters and other young girls from being forced to marry at shockingly young ages. The following year, Rebecca and the rest of the world watched as a team of Texas Rangers raided the Yearning for Zion Ranch, a stronghold of the FLDS. Rebecca's subsequent testimony would reveal the horrific secrets taking place behind closed doors of the temple, sending their leaders to prison for years, and Warren Jeffs for life. THE WITNESS WORE RED is a gripping account of one woman's struggle to escape the perverse embrace of religious fanaticism and sexual slavery, and a courageous story of hope and transformation.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • From the author of Into the Wild and Into Thin Air, this extraordinary work of investigative journalism takes readers inside America’s isolated Mormon Fundamentalist communities. • Now an acclaimed FX limited series streaming on HULU. “Fantastic.... Right up there with In Cold Blood and The Executioner’s Song.” —San Francisco Chronicle Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the renegade leaders of these Taliban-like theocracies are zealots who answer only to God; some 40,000 people still practice polygamy in these communities. At the core of Krakauer’s book are brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a commandment from God to kill a blameless woman and her baby girl. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this appalling double murder, Krakauer constructs a multi-layered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, polygamy, savage violence, and unyielding faith. Along the way he uncovers a shadowy offshoot of America’s fastest growing religion, and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief.
From her days of feeling like “a root beer among the Cokes”—Coca-Cola being a forbidden fruit for Mormon girls like her—Joanna Brooks always understood that being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints set her apart from others. But, in her eyes, that made her special; the devout LDS home she grew up in was filled with love, spirituality, and an emphasis on service. With Marie Osmond as her celebrity role model and plenty of Sunday School teachers to fill in the rest of the details, Joanna felt warmly embraced by the community that was such an integral part of her family. But as she grew older, Joanna began to wrestle with some tenets of her religion, including the Church’s stance on women’s rights and homosexuality. In 1993, when the Church excommunicated a group of feminists for speaking out about an LDS controversy, Joanna found herself searching for a way to live by the leadings of her heart and the faith she loved. The Book of Mormon Girl is a story about leaving behind the innocence of childhood belief and embracing the complications and heartbreaks that come to every adult life of faith. Joanna’s journey through her faith explores a side of the religion that is rarely put on display: its humanity, its tenderness, its humor, its internal struggles. In Joanna’s hands, the everyday experience of being a Mormon—without polygamy, without fundamentalism—unfolds in fascinating detail. With its revelations about a faith so often misunderstood and characterized by secrecy, The Book of Mormon Girl is a welcome advocate and necessary guide.
After twenty years of marriage, Rami discovers that her husband has been living a double--or rather, a quintuple--life. Tony, a senior police officer in Maputo, has apparently been supporting four other families for many years. Rami remains calm in the face of her husband's duplicity and plots to make an honest man out of him. After Tony is forced to marry the four other women--as well as an additional lover--according to polygamist custom, the rival lovers join together to declare their voices and demand their rights. In this brilliantly funny and feverishly scathing critique, a major work from Mozambique's first published female novelist, Paulina Chiziane explores her country's traditional culture, its values and hypocrisy, and the subjection of women the world over.