This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

Muddled memories

“Novelist Critiques ‘Culture of Control’ ” (Mosaic, print edition, April 15, which cited an article by Alexandra Schwartz in The New Yorker on novelist Miriam Toews and her new book, Women Talking) brought to mind a letter I wrote to The New Yorker that went unpublished. An excerpt may be of interest: “Schwartz is reasonably accommodating in her mention of Canadian writer Miriam Toews, however, the grab-bag of dirty linen excerpted from Toews’ muddled memories about Mennonites casually titillates the reader, and that’s about all. . . . The Mennonites do not deserve this sort of introduction to your readers. They are a charitable, peace-loving, resourceful and religious people. . . . For centuries they have taken a leading role in agriculture as well as charitable extension.”

John Wiebe
Trinidad, Calif.

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