*FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. She is the author of Babel's Stair, a collection of poems, and her poems have also appeared in Poetry, The Yale Review, The Gettysburg Review, and The Southern Review.She teaches English and creative writing at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. It was bad enough that her husband ... Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside down. At that point, too many of her social, philosophical and spiritual ideas were challenged, causing her life to become more secular. And may she turn a forgiving but clear-eyed focus on her true antagonist, herself. She’s had two great ones. Never mind that neither Janzen nor her family ever wore distinctively religious garb of the Amish or “old Mennonites.” The author can explain all that after the book is published. Before that, David Sedaris, Michael Perry, and sections of Barbara Kingsolver’s Pigs in Heaven also left me shaking soundlessly. Right away, on page two, the word “tit” appears in a discussion of breast cancer, and Janzen tells you that she and her women kin have none. It’s also clear that her mother’s healing love made this book possible. Rhoda packed her bags and went home to her Mennonite family, who … Every writer struggles with marketing issues as a necessity of 21st-century publication, and every publisher wants an angle. Tits, that is. Will you read the sequel? And now, I must get to my own memoirs. To him the removal of unnecessary anatomical parts was like donating superfluous crap to Goodwill.” I’ve always admired humorists, from Twain to Keillor to Sedaris. In fact, I am going to present some of your ideas to my college friends when we get together next weekend. the blessing of your voice, your chaste touch. Rhoda Janzen holds a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was the University of California Poet Laureate in 1994 and 1997. Learned a lot about the Mennonites and about myself. All Mennonites, especially Mennonite writers, owe Rhoda Janzen a big “thank you.” She has opened a space for others. Rhoda Janzen. Rhoda Janzen is the author of Babel's Stair, a collection of poems.Her poems have also appeared in Poetry, The Yale Review, The Gettysburg Review, and The Southern Review.She holds a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was the University of … Janzen already has motivated one of her Fresno, CA, Mennonite Brethren sisters, Rhonda Langley, to respond with her own self-published book (available on lulu.com as both ebook $1.99 and paperback $12.00) called Mennonite in Blue Jeans. I am also eagerly anticipating your own memoir. © 2003 - 2017 BookMovement, LLC. No longer Die Stille im Lande (the silent in the land), Mennonites now have the responsibilities of telling their many stories as honestly as possible. They do not permanently mar the integrity of this fine coming home story. The first U.S. Mennonite writer (Rudy Wiebe preceded her in Canada) to break into the literary high culture was poet Julia Kasdorf, cited above, with four poems in The New Yorker in the early 1990s and the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize in 1991. Sleeping in the nude has its disadvantages. I’ve seen a number of people talking about your book on FB since the MWR review and others. Try to erase self, and you are soon looking in the mirror. The following spring I read it again after doing extensive research on the web about Rhoda, and discovering your review on your blog. A better Mennonite than I would meticulously clean them up. Now for the other side of the story. But this is a mid-life memoir, not a late-night, 60s-era bull session. Q&A with writer Rhoda Janzen Rhoda Janzen: Rhoda Janzen is the author of two memoirs, Mennonite in a Little Black Dress and Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?, and a poetry collection, Babel's Stair. Janzen tries to preempt criticism of such fine points by making fun of factual accuracy in her savagely funny Mennonite History Primer appendix. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress [Rhoda Janzen] on Amazon.com. She uses big words some of which could not be found in Dictionary.com. I loved this book, and Rhoda Janzen. Rhoda Janzen is the author of Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home, as well as Babel's Stair, a collection of poems.Her poems have also appeared in Poetry, The Yale Review, The Gettysburg Review, and The Southern Review.She holds a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was the University of California Poet Laureate in 1994 and 1997. Really eager to know what you think when you read the book. I hadn’t read your review of Rhoda’s book, so was glad to see it here! Shortly after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her husband of fifteen years left her for Bob, a guy he met on Gay.com, and a car accident left her with serious injuries. . Rhoda Janzen. ?Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. Rhoda Janzen is the author of Babel's Stair, a collection of poems.Her poems have also appeared in Poetry, The Yale Review, The Gettysburg Review, and The Southern Review.She holds a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was the University of … Welcome to this website and to the beginning of your own memoir journey! We are also going to try our hand at writing some Six-Word Memoirs. She and I were dorm mates for a year at Fresno Pacific. Rhoda Janzen has already gone further into the comedy and memoir worlds than any American writer born of Mennonite (or Mennonite Brethren) parents. Let the memoirs pour forth! I enjoyed the first 60 pages. Added to that I learned about Mennonites which was fascinating. I hope the next book will relieve some of the anxiety in the Janzen family, as the focus switches away from California. Did the conversation go something like this? slow read, difficult to maintain interest in book, Janzen's take on life is inspiring and beautifully positive. What did exist (before the separation between the U.S. and Canadian members) was a group called the North American Conference of Mennonite Brethren. Do you feel that the author regrets her upbringing? Such readers won’t care if her ethnography is accurate in every detail. Janzen (English and Creating Writing/Hope Coll. This book deals a lot with relationships - family relationships, spousal relationships. She conflates two denominations and two different ethnicities, picking and choosing ones which will serve the purpose of entertaining her primary audience (the literary and academic elite whose haute cuisine and haute couture fascinate the author as much as the pale blue embroidered silk envelope she clutched as a child). The Amazon reviews are very mixed, considering the high number of sales. She damns with faint praise, approving of Staci’s honesty in not pretending to closeness she does not feel and then quotes the thoughtless things Staci said to her. Rhoda Janzen is an American poet, academic, and memoirist, best known for her memoir Mennonite in a Little Black Dress. Perhaps awareness of the paradox itself is the only answer to this dilemma. I learned that whatever we say means nothing. Is she overly critical of her family and fellow Mennonites? Odd juxtapositions, bizarre memories, and witty critiques ensue. Rhoda’s book Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home will be published on 6 January by Atlantic Books, £8.99. Annie Dillard sets thememoir high bar: “I don’t believe in a writer’s kicking around people who don’t have access to a printing press. Rhoda Janzen is 43 when her life hurtles to a grinding halt. 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