Book review: ‘When Did Everybody Else Get So Old?’

Jun 5, 2017 by

In the next few years, I will celebrate my 50th birthday. My sons will graduate from high school (if we’re lucky!) and we will be empty nesters. My parents will turn 80, an age that strikes me as much older...

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Book review: ‘Both My Sons’

Feb 13, 2017 by

I’m not one of those folks who reads historical fiction and longs for the past, for a more bucolic way of life and the wonder that might accompany the discovery of new frontiers. Indeed, I know a work of...

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Book review: ‘Very Married’

Oct 24, 2016 by

In July, my parents celebrated their 53rd anniversary. This seems a miracle of sorts to me, not because their marriage was especially contentious but because they spent very little time together before...

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Book review: ‘Simple Pleasures’

Sep 12, 2016 by

In the creative nonfiction course I teach every spring, I talk about a memoirist’s ability to both convey personal experience and also make connections with an audience. This interplay between the individual...

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Book review: ‘Mennonite on the Edge’

Aug 1, 2016 by

In 2004, Cynthia Yoder broke new ground in Mennonite letters with Crazy Quilt: Pieces of a Mennonite Life. The memoir, one of the first of its kind written by a Mennonite, detailed the debilitating depression...

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Book review: ‘Lord Willing?’

May 23, 2016 by

People who have experienced devastating loss, like the death of a child or a terminal diagnosis, are familiar with the Christian clichés offered with loving intent but that do little to assuage their...

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Book review: ‘Overplayed’

Mar 28, 2016 by

When my 13-year-old son announced last spring that he wanted to play baseball again, I cringed. I had hoped the days of watching tedious games in freezing Oregon springtime were far behind us, our son having...

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Book review: ‘Abandoned Homeland’

Feb 1, 2016 by

In the title poem of Jeff Gundy’s Abandoned Homeland, the speaker begins with a question: “How else to describe this absurd, lovely world?” The rest of Gundy’s collection seems positioned to provide an...

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Killing God, finding God

Aug 31, 2015 by

The title of Emily Hedrick’s novel might initially seem problematic, even sacrilegious. What believer would wish to read the confessional work of someone who has killed God, even in fictional form? Yet...

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Song fills Amish daily life

May 11, 2015 by

In Why the Amish Sing, D. Rose Elder considers the role music plays in the life of Amish people, providing as well an in-depth analysis of songs used by the Amish, and the ways those songs inform Amish thought...

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How a false prophet led Amish to violence

Jan 5, 2015 by

The attacks on Amish families described in Renegade Amish feel entirely surreal: because they were perpetuated by other Amish and because they were so violent, so seemingly inexplicable. Could people known for...

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