Magical Memoir Moments

How Laughter Can Heal–A Mennonite Actor's Journey after a Tragic Suicide

I love when comedy arises out of tragedy. So I loved Ted Swartz’s memoir. Here’s how he starts the book: My review of  Laughter Is Sacred Space: The Not-so-Typical Journey of a Mennonite Actor appeared in the October 15 issue of Mennonite World Review. Read it by going directly to the link or by continuing below….

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Rhoda Janzen's New Memoir: A Christian Century Review

If you have been following the bestselling author Rhoda Janzen since the publication of Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, and many people who read this blog, especially this post, have been doing so, you will want to buy her second memoir. I’m deeply grateful to Janzen for helping both Mennonites and others, both secular…

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Simplicity: A Very Short Mennonite Memoir

“The more we have, the less we own.” Meister Eckhart I grew up in a simpler age, the 1950’s. We lived on a 100-acre dairy farm. We were Mennonite. I should know all about simplicity, right? Of course, it’s not that simple. Recently someone asked for advice on how to simplify his life. In turn,…

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Rhoda Janzen, First Lady and Hottest Chick of Mennonite Memoir

There’s news from Rhoda Janzen, author of Mennonite in a Little Black Dress. Her sequel memoir Does This Church Make Me Look Fat? is available for pre-order. Here’s a short blurb from USA Today to whet your appetite. Now is that a catchy title or what? The subtitle comes back to remind the reader of her…

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Sailing Acts: A Memoir and an Inner Transformation

We’ve just returned. In so many ways I am home again. Back from Brooklyn, back from the world’s best job of being a Granny Nanny, back from living out of suitcases for three weeks and a studio apartment for ten months before that. Back from writing ten chapters of memoir on a dining room table….

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Yeats, Mennonites, and Memoir

At the Mennonite/s Writing VI conference March 30-April 1, 2012, the theme of “the self” recurred often. Poet and scholar Ann Hostetler drew attention to this theme in her talk: “The Self in Mennonite Garb, or, Where Does the Writing Come From?” Hostetler has been thinking about the lyric voice ever since she put together…

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Mennonite/s Writing: A Tweet-based Conference Review

Most of you know that my memoir-in-progress is about growing up Mennonite in Lancaster County, PA, in the ’50’s and ’60’s. So what a treat it was to attend a conference at Eastern Mennonite University called Mennonite/s Writing VI: Solos and Harmonies. The organizers Kirsten Beachy of Eastern Mennonite University and poet Julia Kasdorf of…

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A Graduate-Level Spiritual Memoir Course Syllabus

Last week I met a dynamic professor from Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary who told me she visited this blog several times while she was teaching a course on spiritual memoir. I was delighted to meet her and to know that she used the blog as a resource.  You know what I did, of course. I…

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Shirley Kurtz on the Difference Between Writing Memoir and Fiction

Welcome today to Shirley Kurtz, another memoirist and Mennonite. Shirley and I graduated from Eastern Mennonite College (now university) and both of us have used our English majors as writers all our lives. Shirley, however, began writing books long ago and has published one memoir, several children’s books, and now a novel. I asked her to reflect…

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Janet Oberholtzer: Because I Can

Janet Oberholtzer and I have a lot in common. We both grew up Mennonite in Pennsylvania. We are both living lives we never imagined as children. Janet’s story, as you can see from her memoir book jacket, describes her miraculous recovery from a terrible accident.  I have been gently turning down offers to read and…

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