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I’m so excited to have author Mary-Ann Kirkby back on the show this Thursday. We’ll be hearing more about her fascinating book, I Am Hutterite and talk a bit more about what inspired her to write it.

About Mary-Ann: Mary-Ann Kirkby was born on a Canadian Hutterite colony near Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. One of nine children, Kirkby was raised in the Hutterite tradition, similar in some respects, to that of the Amish or Mennonites. At age10 her life was turned upside down when her parents abruptly left behind the comfort and security of the colony and relocated their family to a lonely farm house in the “English” world. The transition to a startling fast-paced society was overwhelming for a young Mary-Ann as she clashed head on with popular culture.

Growing up in the isolated self-sustaining Hutterite community of Fairholme Colony, Kirkby had little contact with the outside world. A primarily agricultural community dominated by male leadership, Kirkby’s childhood dreams included a happy marriage with healthy children, good food, strong friendships and a deep devotion to her unique way of life. Those dreams where shattered when her parents packed up their large family and moved to a new world, full of unknowns.

Thrust into a foreign universe that she didn’t understand, Kirkby worked hard to adapt to a new way of life and a new identity by abandoning the culture that had defined her. She struggled to reinvent herself by denying her Hutterite heritage in an attempt to avoid the stigma and cruelty associated with being different.

A graduate of the National Broadcasting Institute Kirkby made her way into the world of journalism as a news anchor and reporter. She was the senior reporter responsible for aboriginal issues at CTV in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and worked in Ottawa for several years as a freelance journalist and as Media Relations Consultant for the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. The recipient of two Can-Pro Awards, Kirkby has made a career of telling other people’s stories. She is gifted singer, a sought after speaker and member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers.

Finally embracing her role as a daughter of two cultures Kirkby has used her talents to chronicle her own life story. Her first book, “I Am Hutterite,” was published in Canada in 2007 and will be released in the U.S. by Thomas Nelson Publishing in May 2010. The book has garnered rave reviews as readers react to the Kirkby’s honest and compelling story told in her charming style. “I Am Hutterite” won the Saskatchewan Book Award for Best Non-Fiction in 2007.

About her fascinating book: Mary-Ann Kirkby revisits a hidden past and weaves it into her ground-breaking memoir “I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of a Young Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage.” This compelling story will keep you glued to every page vicariously reliving the memories of Kirkby as a young child, now a storyteller in her own right as an award-winning author and news reporter. She was awarded the Saskatchewan Book Award for Best Non-Fiction and received notable acclaim in the first edition of “I Am Hutterite,” published for the Canadian audience in 2007. With outstanding reviews and affection from readers who were awed by her courageous story, she has partnered with Thomas Nelson Publishers to bring her book to the United States. Releasing in the U.S. in May 2010, Kirkby’s memoir will resonate with anyone who has ever experienced a desire to fit in. But perhaps those who will enjoy this book best are those eager to peel away their own defenses and embrace the simple truth that beneath every human exterior beats a heart longing for understanding and acceptance. For more information, please visit: http://www.polkadotpress.ca/

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