Literary Works based on Jonestown


Fondakowski, Leigh, with Greg Pierotti, Stephen Wangh, and Margo Hall. The People’s Temple. Minneapolis, Minn.: The Guthrie Theater, 2005/2006. Production described in Guthrie Theater Study Guide.

Reston, James Jr. “Jonestown Express.” Plays in Process 5, no. 10 (1984).


D’Aguiar, Fred. Bill of Rights. London: Chatto and Windus, 1998.

Gillespie, Carmen. Jonestown: A Vexation. Detroit, Michigan: Lotus Press, 2011.

Hirschman, Jack. The Jonestown Arcane. Los Angeles: Parentheses Writing Series, 1991.

Lambrev, Garrett. Dogstar and Poems from Other Planets. Berkeley, Calif.: Beatitude Press, 2007.

McCuistian, Washington S. A Jonestown for Worms: New Poems. Louisville, KY: Wasteland Press, 2005.

O’Shea, Teri Buford. Jonestown Lullaby. Bloomington, Ind.: iUniverse, 2011.
Descriptions, interviews and reviews appeared in the 2012 edition of the jonestown report

Parker, Pat. Jonestown and Other Madness. Ithaca, N.Y.: Firebrand Books, 1985.

Sutherland, Fraser. Jonestown. Toronto, Ontario: McClelland and Stewart, 1996.

Literary Fiction

†Blackwood, Scott. We Agreed to Meet Just Here. Kalamazoo, Michigan: West Michigan University Press, 2009.

~D’Aguiar, Fred. Children of Paradise. New York: HarperCollins, 2014
The New York Times review of this book appears here and here.
See also reviews by Annie Dawid and Matthew Fulmer.

ƒ~Harris, Wilson. Jonestown. London: Faber and Faber, 1996.

Hartmann, Joseph. Before White Night. Richmond, Virginia: Belle Isle Books, 2014.
Review by Matthew Fulmer.

~Hutchinson, Sikivu. White Nights, Black Paradise. Infidel Books, 2015.
See reviews by Annie Dawid and Rebecca Moore.

Popular Fiction with Jonestown Themes or as Plot Device

#Carter, Nick. Retreat for Death. New York: Charter Communications, 1982.

Christine, Juliea. Escaping Jonestown. BookRix, 2012.

Hart, Megan. All Fall Down. Don Mills, Ontario: Mira Books, 2012.

Hewtson, Kathleen McKenna. Jungle Rot: Jonestown, an American Holocaust. San Francisco: Taylor Street Books, 2015
Critical essay review by Katherine Hill.
Response to Katherine Hill by Tim Hewston. Reply by Katherine Hill.

†#James, Steven. The Pawn. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Revell, 2007.

#Lescroart, John. The Hunter. New York: Dutton, 2012.

#Mankel, Henning. Before the Frost. New York: Vintage Books, 2006.

Maupin, Armistead. More Tales of the City. New York: Harper Perennial, 1980.

†–––. Further Tales of the City. New York: Harper Perennial, 1982.

Mendonsa, Eugene. Jim Jones Is Alive. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015.
See reviews by Katherine Hill and Mark T. Gallaga.

Olsson, Peter Alan. A Boyish God. Houston: Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Co., 2013.
Review by Laura Johnston Kohl.

#Read, Cornelia. The Crazy School. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2010.

Rodgers, William D. Cult Sunday. Denver: Accent Books, 1979.

Roy, Ryan. Jonestown. Living Art Publications, 2014.
See reviews by Matthew Thomas Farrell and Katherine Hill.

#Wilson, Gar. Terror in Guyana. Toronto, Ont.: Worldwide Press, 1990.

Key to Symbols

ƒ = Discussed in The Sacred and the Profane in Wilson Harris’ Jonestown  by Rebecca Moore (2008); and in “Hell that springs from the grave of memory”: Sacrifice, Whiteness, and Extinction in Wilson Harris’ Jonestown  by Jonathan Highfield (2008)

† = Reviewed in Using Peoples Temple to Tell a Story  by Karen Stroup (2010)

# = Reviewed in Peoples Temple as Plot Device  by Matthew Thomas Farrell (2012)

~ = Also reviewed in Fictional Cults Lack Verisimilitude by Annie Dawid (2016)

Last modified on February 13th, 2017.
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