George Handley & Steven Peck - Salt Lake City

George Handley & Steven Peck

George Handley & Steven Peck

George Handley & Steven Peck

Sep 19, 2018, 7:00 pm


George Handley & Steven Peck

Book Title

American Fork & Tales From Pleasant Grove


Salt Lake City

Wasatch Front Region


Salt Lake City Public Library
210 E 400 S
Salt Lake City , UT 84111-2804
Map [+]


Brigham Young University professors George B. Handley and Steven Peck visit the Salt Lake City Library to discuss their work on Wednesday, September 19th at 7:00 PM. This event is part of the City Art Reading Series.

Handley will share work from his new book, American Fork. This book tells the story of a shared love of the Utah landscape that heals family wounds for two unlikely friends Zacharias Harker, a brilliant botanist and an aging recluse, and Alba, a young woman he hires to paint flowers for a book he is writing on the implications of climate change focused on the wildflowers of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains.

Over the course of their unlikely friendship, Harker convinces Alba to return to Chile to learn the story, long hidden from her by her mother, of her father’s disappearance under Pinochet. As America grows more distrusting of diversity, Alba commits her art to the protection of the environment and to a more inclusive meaning of family and belonging while she and her husband, John, strive to learn Harker’s hidden past and include him in their lives before it is too late. Rooted in the Mormon heritage of Utah but hemispheric in its reach, American Fork is a story of restoration and healing in the wake of loss and betrayal.

Handley writes and researches on the intersection between religion, literature, and the environment, with a special interest in postcolonial literature. His scholarship has also focused on the environmental values of Mormonism and he frequently speaks publicly in his home state of Utah about environmental values and issues. In addition to his scholarly writing, he writes creatively. This includes his environmental memoir, Home Waters, which won the 2011 prize for best memoir from the Association of Mormon Letters.

In Tales from Pleasant Grove, Steven Peck creates a breathtaking collection of short stories, harnessing the winds of a wild creativity with gale-force unpredictability. This book is a wonder and a marvel. The imaginative breadth and speculative depth available here brings to life dragons, fairies, witches, demons, and ghost, all set within a western landscape that in its own way proves just as amazing and other worldly as the fantastic elements at play within Peck's work.

Steven L. Peck is an evolutionary biologist, blogger, poet, and novelist. He is the author of Gilda Trillim: Shepherdess of Rats, The Scholar of Moab, A Short Stay in Hell, and The Rifts of Rime, as well as collection of short stories titled Wandering Realities. He has published two volumes of poetry, Incorrect Astronomy and Fly Fishing in Middle Earth, and two volumes of non-fiction reflections, Science the Key to Theology and Evolving Faith: Wanderings of a Mormon Biologist. He is a blogger at By Common Consent, and can also be found online at

This event is made possible with support from The City Library, City Art, and Utah Humanities.


Nonfiction and Fiction