The Utah Enlightenment: Dream House Gets a Nod

UtahReview-Masthead-2280

THE UTAH REVIEW continues to cover Utah culture with astute observations under the direction of Les Roka, who has the stamina of the marathon runner.

I was honored to be included as the author of Dream House on Golan Drive in this survey of notable entries in what the Review calls “The Utah Enlightenment.”

“There was a lot to celebrate in 2015 with the Utah Enlightenment, a creative movement where courage defines some of the state’s most interesting and independent artists. Indeed, the Enlightenment disturbs and disrupts the peculiar Utah penchant to be civil and docile or to be content with platitudes and pleasantries. Artists are reclaiming Utah’s unique spaces for sincere, healing and intelligent purposes, driven to rediscover a pioneering spirit unrestricted by the practices of those who would prefer two narratives that confuse, mislead or manipulate connections to the place we know as Utah. They are consistently fresh voices, effectively melding tradition with new perspectives and practices.

“There are a few moments that stand out as important markers of the Utah Enlightenment, as we approach 2016.” More

Courageous artistic expression underscores memorable moments of Utah Enlightenment in 2015

READING: Feb. 25, 2016 (Logan, UT)

Logan_Library

Helicon West Reading Series
February 25, 7:00 PM
255 North Main Street
Logan, UT

Poet Nancy Takacs and David Pace will read and sign their latest books.

Nancy TakacsD Pace

Helicon West provides a regularly-scheduled place and time for members of the writing community to give their work a public voice, with no restrictions on levels of skill and no censorship of ideas or craft. Publication of readers’ work is a main goal.

We work with downtown merchants to find venues with easy accessibility (for parking and public transportation) and an intimate, homey atmosphere, where attendees can purchase drinks and/or books to make our events worthwhile to the business owners.

 We seek a reciprocal relationship among university students and faculty, the non-academic community, and the rural and business communities, to give the literary arts more exposure and accessibility and to promote diversity and democracy in the valley.

 

Frank’s Buick: Personal Essay (Alligator Juniper)

buick

This essay was first published in the literary journal Alligator JuniperIt was later republished in the debut batch of Phone Fiction, an online platform for reading short fiction (and literary essays) on your mobile device. (Very cool).

Frank is my late father-in-law who died in 1997. I inherited his car. It wasn’t easy…at first.

“I’m not sure when my late father-in-law’s town car became our car. It wasn’t when we wrested it from Mom, who we decided couldn’t safely operate it anymore. It wasn’t when we changed the title to my name. For even after that, I saw it as Frank’s Buick, a.k.a. the Batmobile, so named because of its dual automatic “ComforTemp” controls in the front seats (leather), its “Twilight Sentinel” feature that turns the headlights onand off depending on how light it is outside, the heated windshield, the cruise control with automatic reset, the illuminated entry system around door locks, the electric radio antennae that telescopes into hiding every time you turn off the radio.

“The sexy stereo system. …”

More

 

Alligator

Interview: The Park Record

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In this article published in The Park Record in Park City, Utah, journalist Scott Iwasaki teases out the genesis of Dream House in advance of the reading / book signing of the novel in this mining-turned-resort town in the Wasatch Mountains.

“Salt Lake City-based author David G. Pace is a former theater critic. His reviews were found in local newspapers including The Event and the Private Eye, which was the predecessor to the City Weekly.

“He was also a stringer for the Deseret News, after he and his wife moved to New York, but after 10 years of reviews, Pace lost interest in the theater and started writing fiction.

“One of the fruits of that labor is his new book, ‘Dream House on Golan Drive,’ which he will read from and sign during an appearance in Park City December 28th.” More

Update: Due to inclement weather, the reading / signing was rescheduled for Dec. 28 at 5:30 pm at Park City Roasters,1680 W Ute Blvd, in P.C.

WHAT IS AN ETHNIC MORMON?: Huffington Post

 

o-OCEAN-EXPLORATION-facebook Huffington

This conversation with blogger Mette Ivie Harrison appeared on Huffington Post Dec. 1, 2015. At the time, the LDS (Mormon) Church had made a policy change that the children of cohabiting (conjugal) gay parents–now considered “apostate”–would not be allowed to be blessed, or baptized into the Church or otherwise be officially considered a church member. 

As some Mormons decided to resign their membership in protest over this announcement, the question of what’s left after leaving the institution again came up. Thus, this conversation about “ethnic Mormonism,” which is something I have long advocated for.

Mette is a regular contributor to HuffPost, and she invited me to share my ideas with her in a conversational format. Mette is LDS and a best-selling author, most recently of The Bishop’s Wife and the sequel His Right Hand, two mysteries set in Draper, Utah. She was also kind enough to blurb my book Dream House on Golan Drive, which is how we met.

“Today, a conversation with author David Pace about the growing numbers of ‘ethnic Mormons,’ those who grow up Mormon, but for various reasons leave the church, and how Mormons may need to make a bigger tent to include them.

“Q:  When I first started to articulate some of my doubts about Mormonism with non-Mormon friends, they asked me why I didn’t create my own church. Take what I loved about Mormonism and move on. Or find a splinter group that matched my own ideas better. It’s a very Protestant view of religion, and I struggled to explain to them that the choices in terms of splinter groups were slim and grim pickings. As for creating my own church, growing up as Mormon meant that I had an abhorrence of “priestcraft,” quite apart from my introverism and general disinterest in organizing large groups in any form.

“David, what are your thoughts on this?” More

ENDOWING THE OLYMPIC MASSES: Review of “Light of the World” at the 2002 Winter Olympics

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In 2002, the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City was an opportunity for the LDS Church to present itself to the world. The theatrical extravaganza titled “Light of the World” was staged downtown at the new indoor Conference Center which seats a whopping 22,000.

This review which appeared in Dialogue, attempts to illuminate how the corporate church, famous for its global proselyting efforts, chose to see itself on the world stage.

 “REFASHIONED BEYOND RECOGNITION, Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Games in February 2002. While the world partied Olympically—Budweisers in hand, whooping it up in chaotic street fetes—Latter-day Saints found haven in the
LDS Conference Center. With its open door and rich collection of cultural artifacts, the center functions not just as an auditorium, but arguably as the Latter-day Saints’ first cathedral, with side ‘chapels’ designed for devotional and historical art and architecture, and deeply symbolic fixtures, from doorknobs and seat upholstery to windows and waterfalls. The new building is not only an ecclesiastical seat, as in traditional cathedrals, but also a multi-use common where Mormon and non-Mormon can potentially converse with the highest values of the Mormon community.”

Download the pdf to read the full review. 

LightOfTheWorld

The Kingdom of Tom Green (Essay)

In this essay I talk about the persistence of polygamy (plural marriage) in the faith of my childhood and the tradition of my choice: Mormonism.

Polygamy reigned on both sides of my family during the 19th Century when founding prophet Joseph Smith Jr. instigated the practice in the Mississippi River town of Nauvoo, Illinois. Despite multiple efforts to divorce itself from the practice, the LDS Church is still haunted by the hold of polygamy which continues among those in the Mormon movement.

So does “lying for the Lord,” the imperative that my ancestors were given to hide this peculiar practice of “spiritual wifery” from the law of the land. My argument in this essay is that this kind of mendacity continues in the current LDS population which regularly protects the institutional church above all else–even (and especially) if they have to lie to themselves.

Tom Green, Polygamist

Tom Green, Polygamist

“IN 1988, I wasn’t sure I liked having a
wife, and I hardly wanted another one.
So I don’t think it was because I lusted
after more conjugal living that, during a
stand-off that year between law-enforcement officials and Utah polygamists, I found myself quietly rooting for the guy with more than one wife.”

Download the PDF of Sunstone and read the essay beginning on pg. 8.

Polygamy

 

The Decamerous Sisters Club: Personal Essay

This essay is a valentine to my ten sisters who several years ago became obsessed with the Oregon-based musical group PINK MARTINI.

Originally, this piece won the Writers at Work narrative nonfiction contest and was later published in the journal Quarterly West. Later it was republished by Phone FIction, which is where you can read it today.

women dancing

“My only brother Brent was patient zero. It was he who first heard on National Public Radio about the musical group Pink Martini and in turn began infecting my sisters with the hysteria of the group’s hot Latin, jazz and classical mix. But it was my brother-in-law Scott who is responsible for bringing my sisters to near ruin. He was the one who, munching Cheerios one morning at the table with his children, read in the newspaper that the Martini was due to perform in our home state of Utah. Without thinking—I am sure he was not thinking—he told his wife, my sister Stephenie, who screamed so loudly at the news that five-year-old Ben turned to his younger sister Gracie and said, ‘My Heck! What’s with mom?’” Read the entire essay on Phone Fiction

 

Interview: Access Utah (UPR)

UPR

Tom Williams

Tom Williams

Our guest for the hour today is Utah author David G. Pace whose debut novel Dream House on Golan Drive is published by Signature Books. It is the year 1972, and Riley Hartley finds that he, his family, community, and his faith are entirely indistinguishable from each other. He is eleven. A young woman named Lucy claims God has revealed to her that she is to live with Riley’s family.

Her quirks are strangely disarming, her relentless questioning of their lives incendiary and sometimes comical. Her way of taking religious practice to its logical conclusion leaves a strong impact on her hosts and propels Riley outside his observable universe and toward a trajectory of self discovery.

Set in Provo and New York City during the seventies and eighties, the story encapsulates the normal expectations of a Mormon experience and turns them on their head.

Listen to full UPR podcast here.

REVIEW: 15 Bytes Magazine

A review of Dream House by retired BYU professor / playwright Eric Samuelsen in 15 Bytes Magazine.

“David Pace’s semi-autobiographical novel, Dream House on Golan Drive, navigates this map full of Mormon cultural terrains with dexterity and precision, thumping over bumps in the road, while simultaneously suggesting the possibility of flight. If Terryl Givens is right in suggesting that Mormon culture is, at its heart, a series of ever-receding paradoxes, those paradoxes find expression, if not resolution, in this novel. It’s a both/and novel, transcendent and transgressive, full of magic, but also appalling in its specificity. Once I started reading, I couldn’t set it aside; twice, I also nearly pitched it across the room. It’s an extraordinary achievement, and its publication marks a major cultural moment.”  More