Notice: The Mormon Literature & Creative Arts database has moved to
Zenna Chlarson Henderson
Zenna Henderson is known almost entirely for short stories about “The People.“ The People are a race of sensitive, human-looking aliens with psychic abilities who are separated after crash-landing on Earth but come to find each other over a period of many years.
     Publishing her “People” stories in the leading science fiction magazines of the 50s, 60s and 70s, Henderson became a pioneer in many areas of science fiction literature. She was one of the first female science fiction writers, and was one of an even smaller number who wrote openly as a woman, without using male-sounding pseudonyms or initials (James Tiptree Jr., C. L. Moore, etc.).
     In a time during which science fiction was often marked by unquestioned rationalism and pragmatism in which spiritual elements were often a taboo, unprintable subject, Henderson was also a pioneer in spiritual/religious science fiction. The People were a deeply spiritual and openly religious culture. In the twenty years since Henderson last wrote, even with the emergence of religion and spirituality as acceptable, even common themes in science fiction, few authors have matched the depth of spirituality of her work. Some of today’s top science fiction writers who are know for the realistic positive portrayals of religious people in their literature, such as Kathy Tyers and Orson Scott Card, specifically cite Zenna Henderson as an important early influence on their careers.
     Finally, Henderson was one of the first in science fiction to truly take young people seriously and write expressive, mature stories from their point of view. She drew on her experience as a teacher of young people, and was able to bring a rare level of insight to her use of young characters. Henderson's youthful protagonists are neither adults forced into young bodies, nor are they frivolous caricatures. They are very human, complete souls, yet marked by authentic signs of youth and innocence. Interestingly enough, Bujold and Card, both of whom mention Henderson as an important early influence, have also been among the most successful chroniclers of young people, with such Hugo- and Nebula-award winning novels as Falling Free and Ender’s Game. [from Preston Hunter’s tribute page]

Many of Zenna Henderson’s stories were republished extensively. Listed here are the first publication of each story and reprintings in collections of her works. For a more extensive bibliography, see the Mormon Speculative Fiction Bibliography.

View Works by this Person

Web Site tribute page
Religion born/baptized LDS but married a nonmember and was nonpracticing after that
Birth Date November 1, 1917
Death Date May 11, 1983
Birth Place Tuscon, Arizona
Parents Louis Rudolph Chlarson and Emily Vernell Rowley
Spouse Richard Harry Henderson; married 1943
Education Bachelor's degree in education from Arizona State, 1940
Career Schoolteacher

Works by Zenna Chlarson Henderson
Sort by title
Ingathering: The Complete People Stories of Zenna Henderson1995Short Story Collection
Michael Without1995Short Story
. . . Old . . . As a Garment1982Short Story
Tell Us a Story1980Short Story
Ararat1979Short Story
There Was a Garden1978Short Story
The First Stroke1977Short Story
Katie-Mary’s Trip1975Short Story
Thrumthing and Out1972Short Story
Ad Astra1971Short Story
As Simple as That1971Short Story
Boona on Scancia1971Short Story
Crowning Glory1971Short Story
Holding Wonder1971Short Story Collection
Incident After1971Short Story
Love Every Third Stir1971Short Story
One of Them1971Short Story
Sharing Time1971Short Story
Swept and Garnished1971Short Story
The Taste of Aunt Sophronia1971Short Story
That Boy1971Short Story
Three-Cornered and Secure1971Short Story
The Walls1971Short Story
The Believing Child1970Short Story
Through a Glass—Darkly1970Short Story
J-Line to Nowhere1969Short Story
The Indelible Kind1968Short Story
Angels Unawares1966Short Story
Troubling of the Water1966Short Story
The Anything Box1965Short Story Collection
The Effectives1965Short Story
No Different Flesh1965Short Story
Deluge1963Short Story
Shadow on the Moon1962Short Story
Subcommittee1962Short Story
The People: No Different Flesh1961Short Story Collection
Return1961Short Story
The Closest School1960Short Story
Something Bright1960Short Story
Things1960Short Story
And a Little Child . . .1959Short Story
Jordan1959Short Story
Captivity1958Short Story
The Last Step1958Short Story
Turn the Page1957Short Story
Wilderness1957Short Story
Anything Box1956Short Story
Pottage1955Short Story
Walking Aunt Daid1955Short Story
Gilead1954Short Story
You Know What, Teacher?1954Short Story
Food to All Flesh1953Short Story
The Grunder1953Short Story
Hush!1953Short Story
Loo Ree1953Short Story
The Substitute1953Short Story
The Dark Came Out to Play . . .1952Short Story
Pilgrimage: The Book of the People1952Short Story Collection
Come on, Wagon!1951Short Story

Total Queries: 136. Total Execution Time: 0.027 sec.
Copyright © 2003 Brigham Young University. All Rights Reserved.