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I am Hutterite : the fascinating true story of a young woman's journey to reclai
Mary-Ann Kirkby
Adult Nonfiction F1035.H97 K57 2010

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From Publishers' Weekly:

This sweeping prairie memoir, self-published in Canada in 2007, rapidly garnered both commercial and literary applause. Recounting the author's journey from a Hutterite girlhood to an adolescence of desperate striving to catch up with fashions of the time, the book manages to pack information about Hutterite life into a coming-of-age narrative without slowing it down. Kirkby's family moved away from their Manitoba colony when she was 10 years old, after what she calls a "near idyllic childhood" in the cradle of a communal society. Once a reader commits the many characters and their relationships to each other to memory, the book becomes as riveting and well-paced as a novel. Kirkby captures the complex cadences of Hutterite life-the bawdy humor and knack for storytelling that stands beside austere ritual, the poverty of personal possession and freedom that exists beside the security of community life-with pitch-perfect writing. She also manages to avoid either vilifying or romanticizing a culture that has been subjected to both. Readers will find themselves hoping that Kirkby follows the popular trend in memoir writing: producing a sequel. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

The Hutterite faith was founded in the 16th century by Jacob Hutter, an Austrian hatmaker who believed in shared property and people working together for the common good. Their practices of adult baptism, staunch pacifism, and community life led to persecution that drove them from Europe to North America. Those prejudices continue to this day: Kirkby details the misunderstandings faced when her family attempted to integrate into Canadian society. She tells the story of several generations of both sides of her family, their immigration to Canada, their becoming part of the Hutterite community, and what drove her parents to leave to join the "English" world of outside society. Kirkby describes her journey from burying her past to fit in as a child with her peers to finding acceptance of her heritage as an adult while writing this book. Interlaced throughout are descriptions of Hutterite cuisine and fashion, and explanations of religious practices and politics within these groups. VERDICT Kirkby's prose weaves a poignant tapestry of life in a Hutterite colony, both the joys and the hardships, a story that is at times heartbreaking. But readers won't be able to put the book down as they're drawn into her world. Those who grew up in "English" society will get to enjoy not only a well-researched family history but also a wonderfully detailed cultural and religious history of these societies as shown through the eyes of the author. Highly recommended.-Crystal Goldman, San Jose State Univ. Lib., CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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