Your Montana Public Radio
Wed October 9, 2013
Shawn Vestal's Godforsaken Idaho is Populated with Mormons
During the program Shawn Vestal talks about and reads from his collection of stories titled 'Godforsaken Idaho.'
In Godforsaken Idaho , 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.
Shawn Vestal is the author of Godforsaken Idaho , a collection of short stories published by New Harvest in April 2013. His stories have appeared in Tin House , McSweeney's , Ecotone , The Southern Review , Cutbank , Sou'wester , Florida Review and other journals. He writes a column for The Spokesman-Review in Spokane,Wash., and teaches in the MFA program at Eastern Washington University.
The music in this program was written and performed by John Floridis.