What We're Reading

Vol. 11, No. 3

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In this issue:

  • 0 read more Introduction to "What We're Reading"

    Introduction to "What We're Reading"

    by Ann Hostetler

    This issue focuses on books and their power to shape our view of the world. Gayatri Patnaik’s essay, “On Finding Meaning and Creating a ‘World House,’ reflects on her journey to becoming the editorial director of Beacon Press. Kimmie and Linda Wendling offer a fresh perspective on race, embedded in their mother-dughter rletionship, in their joint review of We Can’t Breathe—On Black Lives, White Lies, and The Art of Survival, a book of essays by Jabari Asim, journalist and editor for the Washington Post. We plan to make the Wendling reviews of contemporary books on race a quarterly feature ...

  • 0 read more On Finding Meaning & Creating a "World House"

    On Finding Meaning & Creating a "World House"

    by Gayatri Patnaik

    Thank you! And good afternoon! It is a great joy to be here. Greetings to graduates and families. To distinguished guests and faculty. And to members of the Goshen College community. I’d like to thank President Stoltzfus, and the committee who invited me to speak. I had the experience of being seen and nurtured at Goshen College and am here in gratitude.

    When I graduated from GC, I had no idea what my future held. But in hindsight I’ve realized that the values that were instilled here were core to my success. And they’ll be core to your success, too ...

  • 0 read more We Can't Breathe

    We Can't Breathe

    by Kimmie and Linda Wendling

    This issue focuses on books and their power to shape our view of the world. Gayatri Patnaik’s essay, “On Finding Meaning and Creating a ‘World House,’ reflects on her journey to becoming the editorial director of Beacon Press. Stephanie Krehbiel and Paul Tiessen each reflect on Miriam Toews’ latest novel, Women Talking, based on a real-life travesty of sexual abuse in a conservative Mennonite community in Bolivia. And the mother-daughter team of Kimmie and Linda Wendling reflect on We Can’t Breathe—On Black Lives, White Lies, and The Art of Survival, a book of essays by Jabari Asim, journalist and editor for the Washington Post. In so doing, they share aspects of their mother/daughter story that shape the perspectives of their conversations on race. We plan to make the Wendling reviews of contemporary books on race a quarterly feature of the Journal, opening much-needed conversation and offering words that shape and sharpen our perceptions of the world we live in.

  • 0 read more Coming to Terms with the Shadows of Pacifism

    Coming to Terms with the Shadows of Pacifism

    by Stephanie Krehbiel

    A review of Miriam Toews's Women Talking

    240 pages, Knopf Canada, 2018, Bloomsbury Publishing (USA), 2019

  • 0 read more Bridging the Gap: A Man Who Can Speak for Women

    Bridging the Gap: A Man Who Can Speak for Women

    by Paul Tiessen

    A review of Miriam Toews's Women Talking

    240 pages, Knopf Canada, 2018, Bloomsbury Publishing (USA), 2019

  • 0 read more Women Talking: A Novel

    Women Talking: A Novel

    by Daniel Shank Cruz

    Reprinted from Mennonite Quarterly Review 93, no. 3 (2019): 428-31.

    As its prefatory “Note on the Novel” states, Miriam Toews’s Women Talking is inspired by the rapes that occurred “Between 2005 and 2009” in a Bolivian Mennonite colony and then resumed in 2013 even though the original perpetrators were imprisoned. The book takes place in June 2009 as women from two families who have been chosen as representatives for all of the colony’s women discuss whether or not they should all leave the colony as a response to the violence against them. The decision must be made quickly so that ...

  • 0 read more Selected Bibliography of Recent Mennonite Writing, 2015 - mid-2019

    Selected Bibliography of Recent Mennonite Writing, 2015 - mid-2019

    by Daniel Shank Cruz

    We hope to include more reviews in future issues. When you read through this bibliography of recent work by Mennonite writers, you'll see why. If you are interested in reviewing a current book for us, one from this list, or another you think our readers urgently need to know about, please send an inquiry by email to the editor at anneh@goshen.edu.