A Bald Asian American Latter-day Saint Woman Scholar's Ventures through Life, Death, Cancer & Motherhood (Not Necessarily in that Order)

In this collection of personal essays, letters, and even drawings, Melissa Inouye considers how Latter-day Saints in an increasingly globalized Church might cultivate unity without leaving their distinctive gifts behind. As an Asian American Latter-day Saint feminist religious studies China scholar, she feels the urgency of the Lord’s command that the Church “be one” (Doctrine & Covenants 38:27).

With her unique mix of humor and candor, empathy and idealism, Inouye draws upon her academic training in Chinese history and religious studies, her rich cultural heritage, her experiences raising a family in an international setting, her tangle with cancer, and her resilient faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ to unfurl vibrant reflections on the enduring question of what it means to be a Latter-day Saint today.

"Her unique and intersectional perspective will proactively challenge stereotypes, build comfort with contradictions, and widen readers’ views."

“Inouye treats all of her readers with great respect and love, as if they were all equals. She doesn’t ‘write down’ to her children, doesn’t wag her finger at critics, nor does she aim to bedazzle the intelligentsia.”

“ outstanding memoir addressing difficult current topics for members of the church such as LGBTQ issues, millennials, polygamy, church patriarchy, and the sacredness of motherhood.”

“This book about crossings, journeys, and venturing is Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye’s poignant and personal story, but invites each reader to consider their own. Do we consider how to cross the divides and breach the walls that separate us?”

Catherine C. Peterson

Association for Mormon Letters

About the Author

Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye

Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye is a lecturer in Asian Studies at the University of Auckland. She received her PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University and is in the process of finishing a book manuscript on the history of the True Jesus Church in China, provisionally titled China’s True Jesus: Charisma and Its Limits in Chinese Christianity. She currently serves as an associate editor of the Mormon Studies Review.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

  • Part One: Going Places

    Long Departures, Long Returns
  • Mornings and Nights
  • Faith Is Not a String of Christmas Lights
  • Part Two: Staying Home

    To the Bean
  • The Sweaty Sprout
  • Dispatch from Dissertation Research
  • To the Leaf
  • Newsletter from Los Angeles, California, December 2010
  • Newsletter from Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, December 2011
  • Newsletter from Sai Wan Ho, Hong Kong, December 2012
  • Newsletter from Sai Wan Ho, Hong Kong, December 2013
  • Four Songs That Never Let You Down
  • Part Three: Thinking Things Through

    Newsletter from Auckland, New Zealand, December 2014
  • How Conference Comes to Hong Kong
  • Toxic Religion? The Parable of the Pan
  • Conversations Are Like Casseroles
  • Electric (Mutual) Joy
  • What Ana Said
  • The Problem We Want to Have
  • Newsletter from Auckland, New Zealand, December 2015
  • Snipping and Unsnipping
  • The Trouble with Revolutions
  • Human Infrastructure
  • Civilization = Organization?
  • Newsletter from Auckland, New Zealand, December 2016
  • Rich Entanglements
  • Part Four: Getting Disemboweled

  • Hello from Post-Op
  • Chemo
  • 400 Meters; 6 Miles
  • Looking Ahead
  • Part Five: Looking to the Future

    A Letter to My Not-Yet-Teenage Children
  • Samurai Come Out Swinging and Get Scars
  • Rotten Things Rotten, Good Things Good
  • On Fear
  • Conclusion

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Publication Information

  • Subject: Book of Mormon
  • Publication Month: June
  • Publication Year: 2019
  • Language: English,
  • ISBN 13: 9781944394806
  • Page Count: 288
  • Binding: Paperback, eBook
  • Price: $ 15.99
  • Imprint: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

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