The Latter Days: The Case of Mormon Influence in America Now
In her talk, author Judith Freeman not only will recall memories of growing up Mormon but also will discuss the church and its wealth and political influence now. She also will relate some surprising facts about the Mormon church.
Freeman’s recent critically acclaimed book, The Latter Days: A Memoir, takes us on her journey from childhood to adulthood. She talks about the path she took—sometimes unwittingly—out of her Mormon upbringing and through a thicket of profound difficulties to become a writer. At 22, she was working in the Mormon church-owned department store in the Utah town where she’d grown up. In the process of divorcing the man she had married at 17, Freeman was living in her parents’ house with her four-year-old son, who had already endured two heart surgeries. She had abandoned Mormonism, the faith into which she had been born, and she was having an affair with her son’s surgeon, a married man with three children of his own. It was at this difficult moment that she decided to become a writer. Freeman will explore the circumstances and choices that informed her course, and those that allowed her to find a way forward, which will be followed by discussion of the church today.
Freeman is an essayist, novelist and the author of several books, including Red Water, a novel about a Mormon polygamist and the Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857; The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Women He Loved, and The Chinchilla Farm. She has taught writing as USC and other writing workshops around the country. Her essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and other periodicals. This past summer, the Chicago Tribune chose her memoir, which will be available for sale and signing, as one of 30 “must-read” books.
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