Monday, December 30, 2013

Blush: Mennonite girl grows up to be successful academic

by Zinta Aistars

My author interview with Shirley Showalter airs December 31, 2013, on WMUK 102.1 FM radio, Kalamazoo, Michigan's NPR affiliate station. We talk about Shirley's new book, Blush, and what it means to grow up in the Mennonite community. You can listen to the radio station tomorrow live (beginning at 7:50 a.m.), or click on "Listen" mid-page to hear the full interview.

As a young girl, Shirley Showalter never thought she would go to college, let alone become president of Goshen College in Indiana. Showalter grew up as a Mennonite in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. 

In Blush, Showalter recounts everything from Mennonite teens fondness for fast muscle cars to why Pennsylvania Dutch meals have pickled food. 
Showalter says the first time she realized that other kids didn't live like her was when she went to grade school. Even in the 1950's, kids would re-enact commercials and TV episodes on the playground. Showalter says her family has lived in the U.S. for ten generations and she is the first to go to college. 
In the book, Showalter's Mennonite community seems to support one another--especially when it comes to raising children. But Showalter says women were expected to ...

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