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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 17, 2004

Amish Life Is Described In Nov. 29 'Live From Prairie Lights' Reading

Kalona native Ruth Irene Garrett, who described her break with her Amish upbringing in "Crossing Over," will read from her new book, "Born Amish," at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29 in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

The free reading will be broadcast on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series hosted by Julie Englander on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910. Listen on the Internet at

Garrett, who also wrote "My Amish Heritage," developed the new book with Deborah Morse-Kahn, an historian and sociologist who is the author of numerous books on Upper Midwest history and life. Morse-Kahn is director of Regional Research Associates in Minneapolis and is a specialist in the ethnic and religious communities of the American Midwest.

Critic Linda Simpkins wrote, "'Born Amish' is an easy, short, informative read blending exposition and personal experience. . . .

"The book seeks not only to describe habits, social parameters and social events, but to capture the faith and idealism that are the foundation of Amish life. While it doesn't shrink from identifying the pitfalls of trying to preserve an insulated, outmoded lifestyle, it also asserts that the simple life the Amish have chosen can be highly satisfying."

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,