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On Mennonite Writing

C. Henry Smith Series 5

Jeff Gundy

Foreword by Hildi Froese Tiessen

Summary: The first book-length treatment of the flowering of American Mennonite writing of the last two decades, this book combines careful scholarship with Jeff Gundy’s frank, sometimes sardonic, often funny, deeply engaged commentary on Mennonite writing and culture.

Walker in the Fog explores important Mennonite and related authors—Patrick Friesen, William Stafford, Julia Kasdorf, Jean Janzen, Keith Ratzlaff, and others—as well as crucial issues and themes, such as power and authority, myths of origin and possibility, heresy and community.

Walker combines revised versions of path-breaking critical essays such as "Humility in Mennonite Literature" and "American Mennonite Poetry and Poets" with Gundy’s visionary and lyrical explorations of Mennonite writing and identity, including several chapters written especially for this book

"Do we all imagine that we have the clarity others lack, when in truth we are all just walkers in the same fog?" Gundy asks. "We might then determine to listen to others’ reports of the weather and the landscape very carefully, to learn of that which is obscured in the fog from where we walk, but clearer from another point of view."

Comment: "Gundy may be walking through the ‘fog’ of Mennonite literature and culture, but as he wanders along he ignites fireworks to enlighten our way. As in his fine poems, he bravely follows the muse of complex thinking, even if it leads to contradictions and shifting positions in the journey. Moving back and forth in his stance somewhere between John Ruth and Al Reimer, Gundy clearly prefers Gnosticism to orthodoxy, Scott Holland to H. S. Bender, and Pilgram Marpeck to Menno Simons. Walker in the Fog gives us a provocative view of recent tendencies in Mennonite literary culture through the singular voice of a writer who has helped create it. The book is a remarkable contribution to the interpretation of Mennonite literature and the Mennonite church in a postmodern age."
Ervin Beck, Author, MennoFolk: Mennonite and Amish Folk Traditions
More. . . .

Market: Anyone—from writers and poets through lay readers and academic critics—interested in a rare book-length treatment of the emerging body of Mennonite-related literature and poetry.

Shelving: Literature—Anabaptist-Mennonite; Poetry—Mennonite; Fiction; Criticism; Cultural Studies. BISAC: Literary Criticism and Essays; Poetry; Religion. RTM: 495 Literary Criticism; 640 Poetry; 690 Religion

The Author: Jeff Gundy, Bluffton, Ohio, teaches at Bluffton University and has published four books of poems—Deerflies, Rhapsody with Dark Matter, Flatlands, and Inquiries—as well as Scattering Point: The World in a Mennonite Eye and A Community of Memory (nonfiction.). He has been studying and writing about Mennonite literature and history for twenty years.

Publisher: Cascadia Publishing House (the new name of Pandora Press U.S.)
Copublisher: Herald Press, Scottdale, PA
Tentative Publication date: April 2005
Approximate Pages: 296
Format: 6 x 9 trade paper
Prices: $22.95 US, $35.95 Can.
ISBN: 1-931038-26-0

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Copyright 2005 by Cascadia Publishing House