Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home

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Atlantic Books, Jan 1, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 300 pages

Shortlisted for the Thurber Prize for American Humor
22 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list

'Wonderfully intelligent and frank... I loved this book, and Rhoda Janzen. She is a terrific, pithy, beautiful writer, a reliable, sympathetic narrator and a fantastically good sport.' New York Times

Rhoda Janzen had reached a crossroads: she had just hit forty when her brilliant husband of fifteen years left her for a guy he met on Gay.com. In the same calamitous week she was hospitalized in a horrible car accident. With no alternatives, Rhoda decided to pack her bags and head home. into the heart of the Christian sect she had spent years longing to escape.

Rhoda Janzen might be a bad Mennonite, but nonetheless, her parents and their community welcome her back with open arms, strange food and offbeat advice. ('Why not date your first cousin? He has his own tractor!') It was in this safe place that Rhoda came to terms with her failed marriage; the desire, as a young woman, to leave her sheltered world behind; and the choices that had both freed and entrapped her.

'This book is not just beautiful and intelligent, but also painfully - even wincingly - funny. It is rare that I literally laugh out loud while I'm reading, but Rhoda Janzen's voice - singular, deadpan, sharp-witted and honest - slayed me, with audible results. I have a list already of about fourteen friends who need to read this book. I will insist that they read it. Because simply put, this is the most delightful memoir I've read in ages.' Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BookConcierge - www.librarything.com

Digital audiobook narrated by Hillary Huber From the book jacket: Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside-down. From the outside, it seemed that she had everything she wanted ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - KamGeb - LibraryThing

A non-fiction account of a woman who was raised Mennonite and returns to her parents house after a divorce and an accident. The most fascinating part of the story for me was that I learned that ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

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. 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.

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