How to pronounce Brady Udall: Youdall
Brady Udall grew up in a large Mormon family in Arizona, where he worked on his grandfather's farm. He graduated from Brigham Young University and later attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop.
He was a faculty member of Franklin & Marshall College and Southern Illinois University. He now teaches writing at Boise State University.
A collection of his short stories titled Letting Loose the Hounds was published in 1998 and his debut novel The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint was published in 2001. This was followed by The Lonely Polygamist in 2010. In 2010, he was appointed Writer-in-Residence of Idaho, a position he held until 2013.
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Brady Udall discusses The Lonely Polygamist and The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint
A Q&A about The Lonely Polygamist
Why did you decide to take your nonfiction article that first appeared in Esquire in 1998 and was originally titled Big Love and make it into a novel?
My novel is not based on my Esquire piece, exactly, but the research I did for the piece was the basis for The Lonely Polygamist (there's a distinction there if you look for it). I have a strong family connection to polygamy, but I had no real understanding of how polygamy is lived today, and after doing the research and writing the article there was no question my next novel would be about contemporary polygamy. This all occurred well before the wave of fascination with polygamy in this country, and I thought it was something I absolutely had to write about, to call attention to in a fair, non-judgmental and (hopefully) compelling way.
You've said that you wouldn't be here if it weren't for polygamy. What do you mean?
My great-great grandfather, David King Udall, was a polygamist. His second wife, Ida Hunt Udall, was my great-great grandmother. So it's pretty straightforward: if polygamy didn't exist, neither would I. It seemed only...
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