Two writers from two generations will speak side by side about their experiences as Mennonite women authors. Shirley Showalter and Valerie Weaver-Zercher will also reflect about their writing processes at 7 p.m. Feb. 24 at Mellinger Mennonite Church in Lancaster.
Valerie Weaver-Zercher is the managing editor of trade books at Herald Press. Her articles
have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Mennonite, The Mennonite Weekly Review, and other venues. Weaver-Zercher grew up in Ephrata and attended Lancaster Mennonite School before going to Eastern Mennonite University and the University of Pennsylvania. She and her husband, David, have three sons and live in Mechanicsburg.
Weaver-Zercher is the author of “Thrill of the Chaste: The Allure of Amish Romance Novels,” published in February 2013 by John Hopkins Press. “Thrill of the Chaste” analyzes the thriving Amish romance novel market, looking at how it sits in the context of broader American culture.
Shirley Hershey-Showalter grew up in Lancaster before attending Eastern Mennonite University and later University of Texas at Austin. She was a faculty member of Goshen College, first as professor of English and later as president — a position she held for eight years until 2004. She then worked for the Fetzer Institute in Kalamazoo, Michigan, as vice president of programs, a position she held until 2010. She is now a full-time writer and part-time teacher.
Showalter’s memoir, “Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World,” was published in September 2013 by Herald Press. In it she chronicles her childhood and adolescence in Lancaster County, which coincided with a period of upheaval and change within the church.
Mary Lou Weaver Houser, a local Mennonite artist and board member of the Society, will moderate the event.