“I devoured the more than four hundred pages of this memoir in what was essentially one sitting . . . A welcome addition to the library of Mormon autobiography—educational and highly entertaining.” —Richard Packham, Dawning of a Brighter Day
1987. A faltering missionary named Bill Shunn lands himself in a Canadian jail, facing charges of hijacking and the prospect of life behind bars.
1844. A frontier prophet named Joseph Smith lands himself in an Illinois jail, facing charges of treason and the prospect of imminent lynching.
What binds these two men together? This riveting memoir—by turns hilarious, provocative and thrilling—answers that question in style, weaving from their stories a spellbinding tapestry of deception, desperation and defiance. Answer its call and you’ll never look at a Mormon missionary the same way again.
“You will read few other books as smart, funny, honest, and heartbreaking as The Accidental Terrorist, and I unreservedly recommend it to you as both a home-grown cautionary tale and a highly original coming-of-age saga.” —Michael Bishop, author of Ancient of Days and editor of A Cross of Centuries
“The book grabs you on page one and never lets go. Fantastically written, beautifully paced, The Accidental Terrorist reads like a novel instead of a memoir. Only in novel form, no one would have ever believed these events could have happened. Believe it. William Shunn lived every word of this book. That he can share it so eloquently is a tribute not just to his writing skill, but his strengths as a human being.” —Kristine Kathryn Rusch, USA Today bestselling author
Finalist for the 2015 Association for Mormon Letters Award
Since his first publication in 1993, William Shunn's short fiction has appeared in Salon, Storyteller, Bloodstone Review, Newtown Literary, Asimov's, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Science Fiction Age, Realms of Fantasy, Electric Velocipede, and various anthologies and year's-best collections. His essays have appeared in On Magazine and Sybil's Garage. His work has been shortlisted for the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. His chapbook An Alternate History of the 21st Century appeared from Spilt Milk Press in 2007, and his novella Cast a Cold Eye, a collaboration with Derryl Murphy, from PS Publishing in 2009. Born in Los Angeles and raised in Utah, he now lives and writes in New York City.