Tag Archives: Memoir

Breaking New Ground: Liberating Lomie by Saloma Miller Furlong

By Sabrina Völz

In 2011, Salo­ma Miller Furlong’s Why I Left the Amish: A Mem­oir appeared dur­ing the mem­oir boom that gave agency to invis­i­ble, mar­gin­al­ized, or mis­rep­re­sent­ed groups. Why I Left the Amish was one of the first mem­oirs writ­ten by a for­mer Amish woman that pro­vid­ed unfet­tered per­spec­tives on the Amish. While many Amish groups today lead a sim­ple life much like many rur­al Amer­i­cans in agri­cul­tur­al com­mu­ni­ties did in the 19th to ear­ly 20th cen­turies, Amish cul­ture is any­thing but sim­ple as Furlong’s newest mem­oir shows.

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Ira Wagler’s Serial Memoir Broken Roads: Returning to My Amish Father

By Sabrina Völz

I know the mon­sters that lurk in the recess­es of the mind and in

the dark cor­ners of the heart. I know, because I deal with my own demons

of what was and what might have been. I’ve heard those voic­es call­ing in the night.

I under­stand, because I poked my head through that door and looked around a bit.

And I got­ta say, it’s not a ter­ri­bly scary place. I wasn’t fright­ened there,

in that room where death is. I under­stand why peo­ple go there.

And I under­stand why peo­ple chose to stay there.

Ira Wagler, Bro­ken Roads, p. 187–188


Grow­ing Up Amish, Ira Wagler’s New York Times best­seller has sold some 185,000 copies since it first appeared in 2011. A writer whose first book makes that list has much to live up to. Some writ­ers nev­er make it past the first book, while oth­ers end up wish­ing they had only writ­ten one. And if I am hon­est, I have to admit that I was some­what con­cerned about what I would do if I didn’t like Ira Wagler’s new book. After all, he’s been to my uni­ver­si­ty twice, and over the years, I’ve got to know and appre­ci­ate him. The book is not quite what I had expect­ed, and it is tru­ly dif­fer­ent in a few key ways from his first publication.

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