Elna Baker (born January 1982) is a American writer and comedian. She is also an executive producer for the radio program This American Life. In October 2009, Penguin Books published her book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance (ISBN 0525951350), which chronicles her experience as a young, single Mormon living in New York City.
- When I’m stuck on a particular story I go back to an Allen Ginsberg line that has always helped: “Notice what you notice.” I close my eyes and try to remember all the things I noticed as it was happening. This opens up my memory and helps me bridge the gap between what’s in my head and what’s on the page.
- On her process as a writer
- Exclusive: Elna Baker, Author of The New York Mormon Regional Singles Halloween Dance, On Humiliation and the Art of Smart Storytelling (in en). Flavorwire (23 December 2008). Retrieved on 15 April 2019.
- I also hear another reassuring voice. Someday Elna, it says, you will look around the room at your husband and children and the rich, full life you've built for yourself. And you will be so proud of the choices you've made. That's the voice I'm listening to.
- On her decision to maintain her virginity
- "Yes, I'm a 27-Year-Old Virgin" (in en). Condé Nast (October 1, 2009). Retrieved on 15 April 2019.
- My whole life I had done my best to uphold those rigid tenets—I believed obedience would get me what I thought I wanted: a temple marriage to another Mormon...And then it really hit me: I wasn't a virgin anymore. That part of my identity was gone, and I had to face the fact that, at 28, I had no idea who I was...And though I'm still struggling with my faith (and hadn't told my parents the news before publishing this essay forced me to!), I'm the same Elna I've always been. Now I realize that those were just things I made up to scare myself, to keep me from having to deal with the real questions of what was happening in my life. I don't regret losing my virginity, but I also don't regret waiting. I know now that it's a very personal journey.
- On her decision to have sex before marriage
- Baker, Elna (28 March 2011). ""Guess What? I'm Not a Virgin Anymore!"". Glamour. Retrieved on 1 August 2016.
- It's a very strange time of life. I go on a lot of long walks. I stopped watching television for a year so I wouldn't avoid my feelings. All I read are self-help books. And when I go to parties, I corner divorced people and badger them for details about what this was like for them and how they got through it. Divorce is like my own personal disaster porn.
- On her divorce from her husband
- 665: Before Things Went to Hell. This American Life (12 January 2019). Retrieved on 15 April 2019.