Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance – Book #111

| Title |The New York Regional Mormon Singles |
| |Halloween Dance
| Author | Elna Baker |
| Genre | Memoir |
| Pages | 274 |
| Publisher | Dutton |
| Copyright | 2009 |

Synopsis (from web-site)
In this hilarious, tongue-in-cheek memoir, writer, actress, and gorgeous stand up comedian Elna Baker tells what it's like to be the Mormon "Tina Fey"--the girl who distresses her family when she chooses NYU over BYU; the girl who's cultivating an oxymoronic identity as a bold, educated, modern, funny, proper, abstinent, religious stand-up comic, equal parts wholesome and hot.

Why I read It
This book has been all over the bloggernacle with reviews and author interviews. It is one of those books that I would want to read but the chances of me finding it was pretty slim. But then much to my surprise I found it in my local library so I checked it out immediately.

The Good
Very funny and I can empathize a lot with her problems with fitting in with the very vocal Mormon majority. They think they are right in all ways possible and have no problem letting you know about it. As an interesting note, we both spent our teenage years living in the same place if 15 years apart.

The Bad
She deals with some various sensitive subjects very bluntly which will make some people very uncomfortable. And while I enjoyed the book I always hate when people write memoirs when they are a long way off from any sort of conclusion in their life.

The Ugly (my opinion)
Being a successful humourist/comedian requires you to be honest. The problem with most Mormons is they have a real problem with honesty and thus their humour fails. They tend to be extremely worried about their image and being seen as perfect (the irony being they are not so interested in actually being honest). So whenever someone points out the flaws within the church culture, the Mormon majority feels the need to circle the wagons and show where the perpetrator are not within said circle.

So what does all that mean? This is a hilarious book which really highlights some of the contradictions within the church system. Because if we are all honest, there is plenty of things in the church that is worthy of humor. But for some of you it will be a little to personal and will discuss things which you have tightly locked away in the closets of your mind.

Mormon Mentions
About 95% Mormon.

Author BiographyThe Back Story: Elna Baker was born in Tacoma, Washington. She moved overseas when she was nine, and grew up in Madrid, London and New York City—where she attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her parents now live in Siberia where her father runs a titanium factory. When she goes home to visit she runs down the halls of the factory and knocks things over while chanting, “it’s Daddy’s factory!” in a pretentious British accent.

Profession: When Elna used to answer the dreaded, “What do you do?” question she’d say: “actress” or “comedian.” Now she says, “writer.” In honor of this switch she purchased a bunch of button down cardigans and glasses, (see BLOG page for a visual explanation).

Her Credits: As a comedian and storyteller, Elna has performed with The Moth, on This American Life, Studio 360, BBC Radio 4, at the Upright Citizens Brigade, The PIT, The Magnet and at many other comedy clubs throughout New York City.

Her show IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING premiered at the NY Fringe Festival and under the direction of her mentor Elizabeth Swados, she also created MEXICAN-MORMON (La Mama Etc.) and A BOOK OF OVER-DRAMATIC CONFESSIONS.

She’s written for ELLE Magazine, GLAMOUR, Five Dials and The Onion. She also appeared in The New Yorker…or a really bad picture of her did, but hey, that counts. In 2007 and 2008 Elna was awarded residencies at Yaddo and The MacDowell Colony.

The Future: Her book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance will be published by Penguin Oct. 15th, 2009.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.