Personal Writing

Vol. 1, No. 3

In recent years, personal writing has risen in regard in literary circles, as one subgenre of creative nonfiction. Two influences in this elevation have been the field of cultural studies, which has leveled the hierarchy of traditional literary genres, and postmodernism, which values the personal and relative over the objective and universal.

In this issue:

  • 0 read more Daddy’s Girl

    Daddy’s Girl

    by Shirley H. Showalter

    Showalter's narrative of her early teenage encounter with her father amid tobacco culture among Lancaster County Mennonites is densely personal, cultural and literary.

  • 4 read more Grist for the Mill

    Grist for the Mill

    by Ann Hostetler

    Ann Hostetler reviews a recently published book of poems by Helen Alderfer. We tend to assume that lyric poems reflect something of the author's life and feelings, but in this book the poems even become a kind of lifetime memoir in verse, scanning the author's life from childhood to advanced age.

  • 0 read more Menno Pause Revisited

    Menno Pause Revisited

    by J. Daniel Hess

    In this memoir, derived from personal experience,Hess gives a personal—yet restrained and reportorial—account of a crisis at Goshen College that has become legendary among students.

  • 1 read more Silence, Memory and Imagination as Story

    Silence, Memory and Imagination as Story

    by Connie T. Braun

    In her essay, "Silence, Memory and Imagination as Story: Canadian Mennonite Life Writing," Connie T. Braun articulates Paul Ricoeur's theory regarding memory and narrative and applies it to the historical Mennonite experience found in two masterworks of recent Mennonite fiction, Rudy Wiebe's Sweeter Than All the World and Sandra Birdsell's Russlaender (published in the U.S. as Katya).

  • 1 read more Three Poems

    Three Poems

    by Robert Martens

    Robert Martens transforms into lyric poetry his childhood experience of growing up in the Mennonite community in British Columbia's Fraser Valley. The three poems appearing here move through depictions of his childhood village, Sunday School pranks, and adult experience in the city.