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Potomac Books


The Days Are Gods, The Days Are Gods, 0803243545, 0-8032-4354-5, 978-0-8032-4354-5, 9780803243545, Liz Stephens, American Lives, The Days Are Gods, 0803245483, 0-8032-4548-3, 978-0-8032-4548-8, 9780803245488, Liz Stephens, American Lives, The Days Are Gods, 0803248903, 0-8032-4890-3, 978-0-8032-4890-8, 9780803248908, Liz Stephens, American Lives, The Days Are Gods, 0803248911, 0-8032-4891-1, 978-0-8032-4891-5, 9780803248915, Liz Stephens, American Live

The Days Are Gods
Liz Stephens

2013. 216 pp.
$18.95 t

“I called the bishop of the local ward, and he put the date of your move into the church bulletin, and these gentlemen came to help,” Brady, the real estate agent, says. Welcome to Wellsville, Utah. Good-bye, L.A.

Liz Stephens has come from Los Angeles to Utah for graduate school, and her brief stint working on a Taco Bell commercial is not much in the way of preparation for taking on the real West. In The Days Are Gods Stephens chronicles a move that is far more than a shift in geographical coordinates. With husband and dogs in tow, she searches for an authentic connection to this new community, all the while knowing that as an outsider she will never really belong. And yet precisely as an outsider, Stephens has a unique perspective on belonging, one that colors her accounts of attending her first small-town rodeo, living in the thick of a thriving Latter Day Saints religious community, raising goats in her laundry room, and observing the town’s racialized Founder’s Day battle reenactments. In her frank and particular way, Stephens shows how the culture of memory, as our inheritance, offers a balance to our brief attention spans and our brief lives.

Liz Stephens received her PhD in creative nonfiction. A winner of the Western Literature Association’s Frederick Manfred Award and a finalist for the Annie Dillard Creative Nonfiction Award, her work has been published in Fourth Genre, Brevity, Western American Literature, and South Dakota Review.

"Stephens' lyric, visually detailed prose will remind readers that building a home can take more than just time; it takes a sense of belonging, of roots that stretch deep below the topsoil."—Kirkus

"With her own twist, Liz Stephens joins fellow writers Terry Tempest Williams and Cheryl Strayed on the trail of women writing the American West. In this fine debut memoir—wrought in language that is witty, melodic, and wise—Stephens insinuates herself among the landscape in such a way that the reader may gather pieces of more than one puzzle."Geri Lipschultz, We Wanted to Be Writers

"Filled with rich description and personal stories, Stephen's focused memoir recounts days of important self-discovery."—Rick Roche, Booklist

"The Days are Gods is a book with a lot of heart, and it’s a model for those seeking to turn their own experiences into memoir."—Narrative

"The sense of place created by Stephens is notable as is her nonhysterical treatment of the ways and lives of her new Mormon neighbors. Those who dream of a practical escape from the rat race of modern life will find a kindred spirit here."—Library Journal

"[Stephens] paints an inspiring picture of a simpler time, a place we all yearn for, a place to put down roots, to become a part of the history and the stories, and to feel a sense of belonging, a sense of what home means."—Laura Friedkin, San Francisco Book Review/ Sacramento Book Review

Publication of this volume was assisted by a grant from the Friends of the University of Nebraska Press.

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