Out of This World: A Journey of Healing

Overview

When a severe allergic illness dictates that she grow all her own food, Mary Swander finds herself living in a former one-room schoolhouse in the midst of the largest Amish community west of the Mississippi. In this simple yet profound memoir, she shares her experiences as she explores what it means to be a lone woman homesteader at the end of the 20th century, discovering the quiet spirituality born of a life on the land.
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Out of This World: A Journey of Healing

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Overview

When a severe allergic illness dictates that she grow all her own food, Mary Swander finds herself living in a former one-room schoolhouse in the midst of the largest Amish community west of the Mississippi. In this simple yet profound memoir, she shares her experiences as she explores what it means to be a lone woman homesteader at the end of the 20th century, discovering the quiet spirituality born of a life on the land.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
This unconventional memoir renders the story of a brave, resourceful woman who turned a crushing medical ailment into an inspirational life. When poet Mary Swander was diagnosed with "environmental illness" (severe allergies to most pollutants), she responded by moving into the heart of a large Amish community in rural Iowa. Out of This World relives her healing passage from bustling modernity to pioneer tranquility.
From the Publisher
“Living in an Amish community, tied to the land and the seasons, Swander came to find balance and reawakened to a life of simplicity.”—Chicago Tribune
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140241709
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/1/1996
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.36 (w) x 7.74 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Swander
Mary Swander is Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University. A regular commentator on Iowa Public Radio, she is the author of, among others, The Desert Pilgrim, Heaven-and-Earth House, Driving the Body Back (Iowa paperback, 1998), and Parsnips in the Snow (with Jane Staw, Iowa, 1990), and editor of The Healing Circle: Authors on Recovery from Illness, Bloom and Blossom, and Land of the Fragile Giants (with Cornelia Mutel, Iowa, 1994).

Good To Know

In our interview, Swander shared some fun facts with us:

"I live in an old one-room Amish schoolhouse."

"I have a dog who can answer the phone."

"I am a licensed massage therapist and a licensed hypnotherapist."

"I play the clawhammer banjo."

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    1. Hometown:
      Ames, Iowa
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 5, 1950
    2. Place of Birth:
      Carroll, Iowa
    1. Education:
      B.A., Iowa State University, 1973; M.F.A., Iowa Writers' Workshop, 1976
    2. Website:

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2002

    Reconnecting with the Rural Midwest

    If you have had any connection with rural life in the Midwest or know someone from this region, you will enjoy this book. The author uses a simple, yet colorful, almost rhythmic narrative to depict her personal experiences among the Amish. Whether you're interested in an alternative healing approach for environmental allergies or want a better understanding of the pioneer spirit and values of the rural folk of the Midwest, you'll enjoy the historical anecdotes combined with the author's personal experiences.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 31, 2009

    Prose Piece Full of Poetic Images

    Mary Swander's personal journey to health in spite of misunderstandings from friends, relatives, and doctors reminds us that we need to take control of our own lives and search for answers no one else can offer. The reader is impressed with her physical and mental stamina in moving back to the land, living among the Amish for sustenance. Her story is absorbing and provacative--told in her unique style of writing. I was sympathetic to her physical and psychological issues and silently cheered for the positive outcome and dogged perseverance. This is a prose piece, but there is poetry in all of Swander's writing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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