The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel
Golden Richards is lonely. A modern-day polygamist living in Southern Utah, this father of twenty-eight children and husband of four wives is simultaneously surrounded by chaos and utterly alone. As his construction business founders and his family spins further out of control, Golden struggles to keep his grief from a daughter’s death and his guilt over an adulterous attraction at bay. Meanwhile, Golden’s youngest wife, Trish, begins to second-guess her choice to join this sprawling polygamous clan, and Golden’s son Rusty, “the family terrorist,” feels invisible amidst the clamor of relatives, and hatches a revenge plot with unintentionally devastating consequences.
By turns heart-breaking and hilarious, The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall is an ambitious, generous, expertly crafted work of fiction. Although contemporary mainstream Mormons and modern-day polygamists have gone to great lengths to distance themselves from one another, this book bridges that distance as only a well-wrought novel can: by introducing readers to complex, lovingly rendered characters and immersing us in their world. In fact, this book is neither a “Mormon” novel nor a “polygamy” novel, but is instead the story of a peculiar American family that has resonated with a broad array of readers and critics alike. The Lonely Polygamist has been named one of the best books of 2010 by newspaper columnists and literary commentators across the United States. The Associated Press called The Lonely Polygamist “a potential classic,” and Publisher’s Weekly proclaimed the novel “a serious contender for Great American novel status.” Never before has a Mormon writer produced a literary novel for adults to such wide, and well deserved, acclaim. The Association for Mormon Letters is proud to add its voice to this chorus of praise by presenting its 2010 novel award to Brady Udall for The Lonely Polygamist.