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Amish Women: Lives and Stories

Overview

Written by a woman who grew up in an Amish community, this book tells the stories of Amish womanhood. Gathered through a series of interviews and conversations with Amish women, many of whom the author knew for most of her life.

Written by a woman who grew up in an Old Order Amish community and church, Amish Women: Lives and Stories offers a gentle, lyrical inside view of Amish womanhood. How are Amish women unique? How are they typical? How do they find expression in a place ...

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Overview

Written by a woman who grew up in an Amish community, this book tells the stories of Amish womanhood. Gathered through a series of interviews and conversations with Amish women, many of whom the author knew for most of her life.

Written by a woman who grew up in an Old Order Amish community and church, Amish Women: Lives and Stories offers a gentle, lyrical inside view of Amish womanhood. How are Amish women unique? How are they typical? How do they find expression in a place that values community togetherness above all else? This generous and heartwarming memoir explores these questions to discover what it means to be a woman and to be Amish.

Meet Naomi whose favorite author is C.S. Lewis. Rebecca who is single and has a career. Susie who is an artist. And Esther who has lost two children and spends much of her time reaching out to other members of her community who have suffered loss. Louise Stoltzfus gathered her stories through a series of interviews and conversations with Amish women, many of whom she has known most of her life. Little has been written about Amish women. How are they regarded within their highly structured community? How whole are they as individuals? This insightful, gently probing, yet always respectful text opens a door to this nearly hidden world. Profiles 10 Amish women; written by a woman reared in an Amish family.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In conversations with 10 Amish women, Stoltzfus explores her own Amish heritage. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
YA-A wonderful collection of short, readable personal narratives that introduces readers to a culture that continues to retain its uniqueness despite the ever-changing and fast-paced world that is forever impinging on it. Raised Amish, but departing from the community as an adult, Stoltzfus brings to life in-laws, friends, and children, all of whom offer their stories, sharing in deft prose their pain, pleasures, tragedies, and triumphs. An excellent book for readers wanting to gain more than a textbook knowledge of Amish women.-Michele L. Simms-Burton, Department of English, George Washington University, Washington, DC
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561482283
  • Publisher: Good Books
  • Publication date: 12/28/2007
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 123
  • Sales rank: 649,180
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Louise Stoltzfus is a native of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She was born and raised in an Old Order Amish family. Stoltzfus is an editor for Good Books. She is co-author of three cookbooks and the author of Favorite Recipes from Quilters. She recently completed a project related to Amish folk artists and has written the book, Two Amish Folk Artists: The Story of Henry Lapp and Barbara Ebersol. Stoltzfus is director of The People’s Place Gallery, Intercourse, Pennsylvania. She lives in the city of Lancaster, ten miles from her ancestral home.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One -- I Was Once Amish

I was once Amish. Sometimes it seems I should say, "I am still Amish." For I have found it impossible to separate my life as an Amish person from my life as a late twentieth-century career woman. I am like the women who nurtured me. The values of my mother and my grandmothers still inform my decisions and my choices. They probably always will. I cannot escape who I am. I am schooled in the ways of the Amish.

I enjoy plain things.

The warmth of an Amish kitchen.

The smell of farms in early spring.

The fall harvest of gardens and fields.

The feelings of family and home.

Sometimes I long to sit in a quiet house lit by a gas lantern and spend an evening quilting or reading or talking with children. No television. No stereo. No telephone. None of the convenient distractions of the jet age.

Sometimes I even wonder what it would take for me to become Amish again. Could I give up these trappings of "the world?" Could I really go back to driving a horse and buggy? Could I think like an Amish woman? I doubt it, but still I wonder.
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Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Chapter 1 -- I Was Once Amish
Chapter 2 -- They Were My Grandmothers
Chapter 3 -- She Is My Mother
Chapter 4 -- She Likes Being Amish
Chapter 5 -- Of Doughnuts and Children
Chapter 6 -- Of Swiss Chalets and Amish Roots
Chapter 7 -- Heaven Is of Great Interest
Chapter 8 -- I Love My Community
Chapter 9 -- I Am a Shepherdess
Chapter 10 -- Of Mountain Homes and Amish Ways
Chapter 11 -- I Am Glad to Have Been Amish
About the Author
"The author finds a surprising degree of freedom within these women's highly structured lives." --Publishers Weekly
"Anyone wishing to know more--and to know more deeply--about Amish women's lives will find this book a joy. Readers will be encouraged, perhaps inspired, by the variety of experiences and feeling portrayed in this sensitive collection." --Bookends
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2000

    When My World Makes Me Crazy

    It's all too easy to get crazy these days. I don't need to count the ways, nor do you. This book brings us back to the things that bring rest and sanity. In its sensitivity there's something for everyone. Men, children and women. The books simplicity brings a certain rest and ease to the world battered soul, yet there is depth for meditation and room for celebration from a culture that is very different from that which most of us identify. The Amish are not saints and face the same dilemmas we do yet there is time and a structure that could lend any of us strength. When I get crazy I curl up with this book and get 'lost'.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2008

    Inspirational

    I like the thought-provoking and reminiscent style with inspirational stories.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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