As I have worked in archives collections abstracting an overall picture...I have realized that my joy was not in the generalizations I could draw, but in each life I was reading. Something in the handwritten, sometimes penciled, often naïve, misspelled, uncluttered account each woman gave of herself drew me in and held me fast. I would find the single detail or particular description I needed for my historical analysis, then, guilt nudging at my elbow to move to other sources, I would read on, and on, and on. Each writer, whom I viewed first as informant, became by stages an individual, a woman, an acquaintance, my friend, my sister. The historical data became a by-product of what is now to me a much more satisfying search: the life writings of Mormon women, a literature of its own.