Item description for Crazy Quilt: Pieces of a Mennonite Life by Cynthia Yoder...
Twenty-six and grappling with depression, Cynthia Yoder leaves her husband of two years and their life in New York City to embark on a search for meaning that will take her to a rural hill in eastern Pennsylvania and back to her Pennsylvania Dutch Mennonite roots. As she collects stories from her aging grandparents and hears how they've grappled with their own losses, Yoder begins to understand what she needs to do to save herself--and her marriage.
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Studio: Cascadia Publishing House
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.48" Width: 5.58" Height: 0.48" Weight: 0.59 lbs.
Release Date Aug 26, 2004
Publisher Cascadia Publishing House
ISBN 1931038147 ISBN13 9781931038140
Reviews - What do customers think about Crazy Quilt: Pieces of a Mennonite Life?
A deeply felt memoir about putting together a life Dec 12, 2003
When the Manhattan-transplanted narrator of Cynthia Yoder's "Crazy Quilt" visits her family in rural Pennsylvania, her Mennonite grandmother laughs at her leather granny boots, purchased at a Soho boutique. The boots look remarkably like the old-fashioned gear the grandmother wore in her youth and was relieved to be rid of. But both women are delighted that "the somber style has been resurrected into something playful and worldly." That kind of makeover is exactly what the narrator hopes to achieve in her own life. A preacher's kid, the daughter of a Mennonite minister, she has earlier renounced much of her heritage and religious upbringing, fleeing to the city to live a Bohemian life. There, she marries a sexy ex-Mennonite rebel, who puts on eye make-up to go out dancing, and exchanges earrings with her in their commitment ceremony. Together, the couple tastes the 20th century pop culture pleasures of drag queen parties, Wild Turkey, The Cure, and open-mike poetry readings. But the narrator finds the American trick of self-reinvention hard to pull off. She remains haunted by her sense that it's her "responsibility to change the world." Her life is stalled by depression; her marriage disintegrates. Seeking a viable way to move forward, she looks backward at the heritage she thought she'd thrown off. She returns to Pennsylvania, to interview her Mennonite grandparents for an oral history of her family -- in the process, conducting a rigorous self-examination of her identity, values and faith. Yoder's journaling and reflections on her life are effectively contrasted with a series of matter-of-fact diary entries made by her grandmother in the 1930s, a sort of Mennonite Day-Timer that offers up the day's labors to God. Any woman who's seeking to cobble together a new self from the contradictory standards held up by family, tradition, religion, 21st century pop culture and advertising, and our own yearning toward something richer and more rewarding, will relate to this deeply felt memoir. No matter what culture we come from, we're all quilters, working to stitch together a sense of wholeness out of the competing images and precepts we've been handed.