Out of this World: A Woman's Life Amongst the Amish

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Viking, 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 276 pages
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When a severe allergic illness dictated that she grow all her own food, Mary Swander found herself living in a former one-room Iowa schoolhouse in the midst of the largest Amish community west of the Mississippi. Out of This World is a simple but profound memoir, shaped by the course of a farmer's year, in which Swander celebrates her time among the Amish people, explores what it means to be a lone woman homesteader at the end of the twentieth century, and ponders the quiet spirituality born of a life on the land.
Rich in down-to-earth humor, deft narrative, and a deep love of the land and its people, Out of This World is also the history of Iowa settlers and of their land, the Great Plains. Examining her connection with her Amish neighbors and a larger human community, Swander explores the complex relationship between self-sufficiency and the ability to abandon the self to a larger goal, between the sweep of Iowa's history and the shape of its present, between human life and the natural landscape upon which it depends.

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About the author (1995)

Mary Swander teaches at the University of Iowa at Ames.

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