Amish Country News Spring 2015

Page 32

New Frontiers in Amish Fiction: Author Sarah Price Writes Timeless Classics in Amish Setting Special to Amish Country News By Best-Selling Guest Author Sarah Price


or over twenty-five years, I have been directly involved with multiple generations of different Amish families. That was at least six years before the movie, WITNESS, was released and introduced the Amish culture to mainstream America. And, as I was born into a Mennonite family that dates back to the 1700s in America, I have a great foundation on which to write my novels.

Unfortunately, there is a misconception that fiction books about the Amish are poorly written and formula romance. And then there is often a problem concerning many authors’ accuracy of the portrayal of Amish. Many authors do not have first-hand experience with the Amish or readers are basing what they know on “reality” shows. These writers tend to think that by putting a pretty woman wearing a prayer kapp on the front cover, the book will sell. It’s like buying a used car that looks great on the outside, but upon opening the hood, you realize there’s an awful lot of rusty, broken components.

It was this misconception about this wonderful genre, and the occasional lack of respect shown to the Amish through the actual writing of “bonnet books”, that prompted me to explore more opportunities to blend my insight into Amish culture and religion with the components of great literature. But how was such a thing possible? The answer came in a rather unusual place: the classics. Reading classic literature—such as Jane Austen, the Bronte Sisters, Charles Dickens, and Victor Hugo, to name a few—can feel like a daunting task. Many of us were forced to read one of these authors’ books in English class during our high school years. As adults, many of us prefer lighter reads to balance our stressful lives as we juggle home, family, and work. Picking up a classic book might not be at the top of our TBR pile. Continued on Page 40

32 • Amish Country News • Spring 2015 •

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