cover image Zombies for Jesus

Zombies for Jesus

Johnny Townsend. BookLocker (, $16.95 trade paper (296p) ISBN 978-1-60910-100-8

Eerie, erotic, and magical, this book of loosely connected stories delves deep inside the consciousness of American Mormons. Set mostly in the South, Townsend's tales feature Mormons with a lot on their minds: environmental collapse, church politics, racism, and homophobia. But mostly they think about transgressing the church's restrictions on sexuality. "She felt guilty for sinning," Townsend (himself a Mormon) writes of one character, "but there was something exciting about it, too." Some of the stories' plots wander into the supernatural%E2%80%94a girl is visited by the ghost of religious leader Joseph Smith's wife, a woman's breasts come alive after her silicon implants interact with electricity%E2%80%94but Townsend keeps his stories grounded despite the fantastic elements, allowing him to reveal what it means to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.