Mennonite in a Little Black Dress

A Memoir of Going Home

By Rhoda Janzen
(Holt McDougal, Paperback, 9780805092257, 241pp.)

Publication Date: April 13, 2010

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Description

"It is rare that I literally laugh out loud while I'm reading, but Janzen's voice--singular, deadpan, sharp-witted and honest--slayed me." --Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat, Pray, Love"""

Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside down. It was bad enough that her husband of fifteen years left her for Bob, a guy he met on Gay.com, but that same week a car accident left her injured. Needing a place to rest and pick up the pieces of her life, Rhoda packed her bags, crossed the country, and returned to her quirky Mennonite family's home, where she was welcomed back with open arms and offbeat advice. (Rhoda's good-natured mother suggested she get over her heartbreak by dating her first cousin--he owned a tractor, see.)

Written with wry humor and huge personality--and tackling faith, love, family, and aging--"Mennonite in a Little Black Dress" is an immensely moving memoir of healing, certain to touch anyone who has ever had to look homeward in order to move ahead.




About the Author
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. She teaches English and creative writing at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. Rhoda's parents are deeply religious. What are some of the more notable ways their faith manifests itself? What qualities do they possess that you admire? Were you surprised by anything you learned about the Mennonite community?

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