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. What did you think? In 2006, Janzen’s husband of 15 years left her for a man and a few days later she suffered serious injuries in a car accident. My prediction: over time, the envy and anger will subside and the awe remain. The first U.S. Mennonite writer (Rudy Wiebe preceded her in Canada) to break into the literary high culture was poet Julia Kasdorf, cited above, with four poems in The New Yorker in the early 1990s and the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize in 1991. . Rhoda Janzen was 43 and had been married for 15 years when, after recovering from a serious illness -- during which her usually grouchy husband Nick … 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. Her sequel memoir Does This Church Make Me Look Fat? The title of her new book is hilarious and portends another bestseller. A week after that bombshell hits, a young drunk driver nearly kills her as she drove on snow-covered roads in Michigan. Like James Frey, who made his addictions stronger and jail time longer in his book than they really were, Janzen sometimes makes her own upbringing sound more sectarian or perhaps more exotic than it may have been. Self-consciousness is to writers what the sin of pride is to Mennonites. She is a terrific, pithy, beautiful writer, a reliable, sympathetic narrator and a fantastically good sport.”—Kate Christensen, New York Times Book Review There you have it–the plot gets no thicker. Our memoir heroine is a college professor, not a college student. Plain and simple, Nick was an abusive husband. In another review published in the June 25 edition of Mennonite World Review, I illustrated the power of a first mover into a field (i.e., Rhoda Janzen into the field of Mennonite memoir). ?Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. Janzen earns the right to hilarious descriptions of body parts and functions because her own body is central to her story. Rhoda Janzen is the author of #1 bestseller Mennonite in a Little Black Dress. They can’t defend themselves.”. is available for pre-order. 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. If you really want to see how the fur flies among Mennonites, go back to the original post and read the comments. She is the author of Babel's Stair , Rhoda Janzen is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Mennonite in a Little Black Dress and the poetry collection Babel’s Stair . Without a husband, Janzen unconsciously drifts back to the point of origin, finding comfort in the sense of community and strong ethics of the Mennonites, even while she pokes fun at their old-fashioned quirks. I hate when this happens, since I have to stay under the covers while I read. It was bad enough that her husband ... Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside down. She and I were dorm mates for a year at Fresno Pacific. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress - Rhoda Janzen (2009) ... Rhoda is in her early forties when after a difficult hysterectomy, she finds her mentally disturbed husband is leaving her for a fellow he finds on a gay website, and then she has a car accident. I admit that I laughed often about subjects that, in the hands of a less gifted writer, could have been not only unfunny but a total waste of time. Q&A with writer Rhoda Janzen Rhoda Janzen: Rhoda Janzen is the author of two memoirs, Mennonite in a Little Black Dress and Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?, and a poetry collection, Babel's Stair. Rhoda Janzen is the first lady and hottest chick, of Mennonite memoir. The Hope College Department of English dives into literature of every kind and teaches students to improve the craft of their writing to foster a love of the written word. How would you define a "good" relationship? MENNONITE IN A LITTLE BLACK DRESS by Rhoda Janzen Book Quote: “In general, Nick’s policy was, if you haven’t used it in a year, throw it out….Nick therefore supported the hysterectomy, but only on the grounds of elegant understatement. Right away, on page two, the word “tit” appears in a discussion of breast cancer, and Janzen tells you that she and her women kin have none. Annie Dillard sets thememoir high bar: “I don’t believe in a writer’s kicking around people who don’t have access to a printing press. sympathy, as though I understood loss even then. Here’s a blog post about memory and truth that might help readers interested in pursuing this topic more:http://krpooler.com/2012/07/02/truth-memory-memoir/, And here’s a NYTimes essay that explains why writers are anathema to family values and why writers need families anyway. Sorry that in the transfer to a new website some of the comments were duplicated. I’ve asked for a review copy and plan to give you my thoughts on the book soon. Rhoda announces early on in the memoir that her husband left her for a man he met on Gay.com; however, as the book progresses, she slowly reveals that her marriage had been troubled for some time, and that she knew Nick was bisexual before they were married. Sign up for your FREE email about the latest top book club picks, exclusive book giveaways, new releases, and online author events. The issues involved, however, will continue to be discussed, not just in relation to MIALBD, but in other books where family pain and debate about the truth arises. After that, more intimate details follow: discussions of menstrual flow, pee, whangs, thangs, the Big Job, pubes, and farts, just for a few examples. Her poems have also appeared in Poetry, The Yale Review, The Gettysburg Review , and The Southern Review . She conflates two denominations and two different ethnicities, picking and choosing ones which will serve the purpose of entertaining her primary audience (the literary and academic elite whose haute cuisine and haute couture fascinate the author as much as the pale blue embroidered silk envelope she clutched as a child). 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