The English department of Goshen College has created a Center for Mennonite Writing online, including a new journal.  The latest issue deserves special mention because it is about personal writing, life writing, or as we know it here, memoir.

One of my stories, “Daddy’s Girl,” which tells the story of how and why I bit a tobacco worm in two at age 13, was published in this essay.  You can find it here.

For those of you who are interested in why memoir is so important, I recommend the essay of Connie T. Braun, a young scholar whose essay is called “Silence, Memory and Imagination as Story.”

Here’s a juicy morsel extracted from the essay to entice you to read the whole thing:  “History provides facts, but narrative provides the individual truths of history.  Story becomes the metaphor for a life in history.”

Congratulations, English department members both past and present, who have created an excellent new journal with great potential to become a gathering place for writers interested in any aspect of Mennonite life as a whole, Mennonite literature, and the experience and expression of individual Mennonites.

Shirley Showalter


  1. clifh on May 15, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Shirley,I noticed your review in the April 2010 issue of The Mennonite Quarterly Review of Connie T. Braun's book, “The Steppes are the Color of Sepia: A Mennonite Memoir.” I thought maybe I had seen the same review on this blog, but I've been unable to find it, so maybe I saw reference to it on this post (in the bio info on Braun at the end of her essay). Anyway, congratulations on your well written review being published in a respected journal.

  2. shirleyhs on May 17, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Thanks, Clif. Now that it is published, I will want to copy and paste the review into this website also. Thanks for alerting me to the fact that the April issue is out.

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