It’s weird to rate this so highly given how much anxiety it gives me to read it. Reading it four years ago is what forced me to confront how much baggage I had from my own Mormon missionary experience, but I know the author has her own complicated feelings about the book, and that helps some. At any rate, the book is so well done that I can’t help but rate it highly.
A friend of mine recently asked whether I had a list of books “that have been particularly impactful or interesting,” especially in the realm of spirituality and religion—and suggested that if I didn’t already have such a list, I could put one together for one of my next blog posts. It took me a while to actually put the list together, but it’s ended up being a really interesting exercise. Of the forty books that I’ve picked, some have been more influential than others.
I’ve only read two Mormon missionary memoirs (plus one compilation of Mormon missionary comics), but both have been helpful for me in thinking about my own missionary experience. Brittany Long Olsen’s Dendo: One Year and One Half in Tokyo is a remarkable graphic novel memoir of her missionary service in Japan. The art is great, the ambition is fantastic, and it absolutely deserves the 2015 award it won from the Association of Mormon Letters.