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The Giant Joshua is a 1941 novel written by Maurine Whipple about polygamy in nineteenth-century Utah Dixie. The idea for the novel started as a short story submitted to the Rocky Mountain Writer's conference in 1937. There Ferris Greenslet encouraged Whipple to apply for Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship, which she won in 1938 in advance of her first novel. With Greenslet's encouragement and support, she completed it over the course of three years.

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  • The Giant Joshua
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  • The Giant Joshua is a 1941 novel written by Maurine Whipple about polygamy in nineteenth-century Utah Dixie. The idea for the novel started as a short story submitted to the Rocky Mountain Writer's conference in 1937. There Ferris Greenslet encouraged Whipple to apply for Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship, which she won in 1938 in advance of her first novel. With Greenslet's encouragement and support, she completed it over the course of three years.
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  • The Giant Joshua
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  • The Giant Joshua is a 1941 novel written by Maurine Whipple about polygamy in nineteenth-century Utah Dixie. The idea for the novel started as a short story submitted to the Rocky Mountain Writer's conference in 1937. There Ferris Greenslet encouraged Whipple to apply for Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship, which she won in 1938 in advance of her first novel. With Greenslet's encouragement and support, she completed it over the course of three years. The novel focuses on the life of Clorinda (Clory), who becomes the third wife of Abijah MacIntyre and lives in Southern Utah during its early years of colonization by Mormon pioneers. Clory survives through both emotional and physical hardship as she experiences the deaths of her children and multiple miscarriages, near-starvation due to drought and floods, and emotional neglect from Abijah. One of the themes of the work is how polygamy and enduring harsh conditions are both tests of faith. Whipple embeds folk beliefs and narratives into her story, giving it greater depth. Contemporary reviewers praised Whipple's realistic portrayal of Mormon pioneers in Utah and the way her realistic characters elicited sympathy. John A. Widtsoe, a prominent church leader, wrote that its treatment of polygamy was unfair, but that it showed the "epic value" of early settlements. After a resurgence in interest in Mormon literature in the 1970s and 1980s, the book became one of the best-known examples of a Mormon novel. Terryl Givens wrote that it is "perhaps the fullest cultural expression of the Mormon experience," and Eugene England stated it was the greatest Mormon novel. Though Whipple planned to write a sequel, she never finished one.
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  • 0914740172
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  • Houghton Mifflin
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