cover of book

A Rascal by Nature, A Christian by Yearning: A Mormon Autobiography
by Levi S Peterson
University of Utah Press, 2006
Cloth: 978-0-87480-851-3
Library of Congress Classification BX8695.P49A3 2006
Dewey Decimal Classification 289.3092

I will introduce myself with a few facts. I was born and raised in Snowflake, a Mormon town in northern Arizona. I have lived most of my adult life in the cities of the American West. Although I consider myself a religious person, I know very little about God. At first I intended this book to be about wilderness, but as I wrote it, it became an autobiography with many themes. Among these themes are wilderness, my vexed and vexing relationship with Mormonism, my moral and emotional qualities, and my family.' So begins the autobiography of educator and author Levi S. Peterson.

Peterson has won a wide readership for his novels and short stories, his prize-winning biography of historian Juanita Brooks, and the essays that have appeared with regularity in western and Mormon literary and historical journals. In his autobiography, Peterson describes growing up on the Mormon frontier of rural Arizona, his growing skepticism with his Mormon faith, his teaching career at Weber State University, and his struggle to understand and master personal crises of confidence that kept him in therapy for almost two decades. Of particular interest to readers familiar with Peterson’s fiction are the many pages devoted to the creative process.

Winner of the Mormon History Association Turner-Bergera Best Biography Award. 

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