PALMER, Debbie

Author Tags: Religion, Women

Former Creston veterinarian and successful self-publisher Dave Perrin has teamed with Debbie Palmer, an escapee from the Mormon Fundamentalist community of Bountiful, for her life story, Keep Sweet: Children of Polygamy (Dave's Press, $28.95, 2005). Herself the oldest of 47 children, Palmer was forced to become the sixth wife of the community’s leader when she was 15. Assigned to two other older men after that, she fled in 1988 and has since been profiled on CBC’s Fifth Estate. Her book is dedicated to her own eight children "who lived through unspeakable horrors before I brought them out." Their book received the Vancity Book Prize for best book pertaining to women's issues. 0-9687943-3-5

[BCBW 2005] "Women" "Religion"

Palmer & Perrin win Vancity Prize
Press Release (2005)

“Keep Sweet: Children of Polygamy” wins 2005 Vancity Book Prize

Vancouver, August 31, 2005 – An intimate memoir of girlhood and womenhood within the patriarchal system of a Mormon Fundamentalist community has taken the 2005 Vancity Book Prize.

Written by Debbie Palmer and co-authored by Dave Perrin (Dave Press and Sandhill Book Marketing), this compelling work takes the reader into the plural marriages and daily lives of children, sister-wives, husbands and leaders in communal Mormon Fundamentalist communities in North America. Debbie Palmer grew up in the Mormon Fundamentalist community of Bountiful near Creston, BC. Her father had six wives. Dave Perrin is known for his popular books about his life as a Kootenay veterinarian.

Vancity Book Prize runners up include “Winning Choice on Abortion: How British Columbian and Canadian Feminists won the Battles of the 1970s and 1980s” (Trafford) by Ann Thomson and “Mariah Mahoi of the Islands” (New Star) by Jean Barman.

Vancity Book Prize was founded in 1992 and is one of the most lucrative literary awards in BC. It is designed to raise awareness of women’s issues while recognizing B.C. writers’ contribution to the literary community. Winners receive $3,000 from Vancity, and $1,000 from the BC Ministry of Community Services to be donated to the charity of the winner’s choice.

“Among many excellent books in this years' submissions ,the judges chose “Keep Sweet” because of its powerful subject matter,” says Reva Dexter, Vice-chair of Vancity’s Board of Directors. “Polygamy has been somewhat of a taboo subject due a misguided concept that deeply held religious beliefs somehow supercede societal obligations. The judges ranked this disturbing memoir not only because of its literary merits, but also because we felt more citizens need to be aware of this phenomenon. This award will ensure that the plight of children of polygamy will surface from the darkness of betrayal into the light of knowledge and truth.”