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Godforsaken Idaho by Shawn Vestal
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Godforsaken Idaho

Stories

$19.49 USD

Get for $14.99 with membership
Length 5 hours 18 minutes
Language English
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Winner of the 2014 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction
Shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing
Named “Outstanding 2013 Collection” by The Story Prize
Pushcart Prize Winner

In this stunning debut, Shawn Vestal transports us to the afterlife, the rugged Northwest, and the early days of Mormonism. From “The First Several Hundred Years Following My Death,” an absurd, profound vision of a hellish heaven, to “Winter Elders,” in which missionaries calmly and relentlessly pursue a man who has left the fold, these nine stories illuminate the articles of faith that make us human.

The concluding triptych tackles the legends and legacy of Mormonism head-on, culminating in “Diviner,” a seriocomic portrait of the young Joseph Smith, back when he was not yet the founder of a religion but a man hired to find buried treasure. Godforsaken Idaho is an indelible collection by the writer you need to read next.

Shawn Vestal is an Eastern Washington University alumnus. He has had stories from the collection published in Tin House, McSweeney’s, and others.

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Reviews

“[A] slam-dunk debut.” O Magazine

“Not only is each story brilliantly constructed, but the collection as a whole is an architectural masterpiece…They’re written smartly…there’s utter brilliance…It’s terrific fiction. Vestal seems to be a writer we can trust to wake us up gorgeously to a certain angry reason, a certain subversive truth.” —Association for Mormon Letters

“[A] darkly provocative story collection. Throughout these well-crafted stories, Vestal’s prose captures the gritty poignancy of western life.” Seattle Times

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