The Lonely Polygamist | BYU Studies

The Lonely Polygamist

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The Lonely Polygamist
Author Brady Udall
New York: W.W. Norton, 2010

The Lonely Polygamist

Reviewer Angela Hallstrom

Brady Udall's The Lonely Polygamist, published in 2010, arrived amid a wave of pop-culture interest in the polygamist lifestyle: HBO's Big Love was gearing up for its finale; TLC's reality show Sister Wives had just hit the airwaves; and real-life stories of Warren Jeffs, child brides, and FLDS compounds were common tabloid fare. Although Udall had been at work on his novel for many years before polygamy became a hot cultural topic, some skeptical readers—Mormon and non-Mormon alike—wondered if the novel's intentions were more sensational than literary. Once reviews began rolling in, however, it became clear that The Lonely Polygamist was more than a fictional exposé of "alternative lifestyles" and was instead a serious work of art.