Introduction to "What We're Reading"

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 of the Journal, opening much-needed conversation and offering words that shape and sharpen our perceptions of the world we live in. Stephanie Krehbiel and Paul Tiessen each review on Miriam Toews’ latest novel, Women Talking, based on a real-life travesty of sexual abuse in a conservative Mennonite community in Bolivia. Daniel Shank Cruz's review, reprinted here from The Mennonite Quarterly Review, offers historical context and material observations that help tease out the distinction between representation and reality in art. The issue concludes with The issue concludes with Cruz's short bibliography of Mennonite writing since 2015.

About the Author

Ann Hostetler

Ann Hostetler is the editor of A Cappella: Mennonite Voices in Poetry (Univ. of Iowa Press 2003) and author of two collections of poems, Empty Room with Light (Dreamseeker 2002) and Safehold (Dreamseeker 2017). Her poems and essays have appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies including The American Scholar, Poet Lore, The Valparaiso Poetry Review,Rhubarb Magazine, Testimonies and Tongue Screws: Poems, Stories, and Essays Inspired by the Martyr's Mirror, Making Poems: Forty Poems with Commentary by the Poets (2010), The Mennonite Quarterly Review and PMLA . Professor Emerita of English at Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana, Hostetler is the web site editor of the Center for Mennonite Writing and co-editor of its Journal. She directed the 2022 Mennonite/s Writing conference at Goshen College.