Out of This World: A Journey of Healing

Out of This World: A Journey of Healing

by Mary Swander
     
 

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When a life-threatening allergic illness demanded that she eat only organically grown food, writer and professor Mary Swander built a new life in a former one-room Iowa schoolhouse in the middle of the largest Amish community west of the Mississippi. In this rich and engaging memoir, which follows the course of a farmer’s year, she writes from the well-named

Overview

When a life-threatening allergic illness demanded that she eat only organically grown food, writer and professor Mary Swander built a new life in a former one-room Iowa schoolhouse in the middle of the largest Amish community west of the Mississippi. In this rich and engaging memoir, which follows the course of a farmer’s year, she writes from the well-named Fairview School to share the radical transformation of her life.

From her perch in rural Kalona, Iowa, Swander discovers new strength and self-reliance along with a community of hardworking and hospitable neighbors. Raising goats and poultry, participating in barn raisings and auctions, protecting her garden from a plague of grasshoppers, creating a living crèche at Christmastime, all the while laughing at her attempts to wrestle with the pioneer challenges of midwestern winters and summers, she explores what it means to be a lone physical and spiritual homesteader at the end of the twentieth century.

Editorial Reviews

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
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781587296376
Publisher:
University of Iowa Press
Publication date:
04/15/2008
Series:
Bur Oak Book Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

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).

Brief Biography

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

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