Tune in on Thursday at 4:00 pm Central! To listen in – go here and just click on the player in the top right corner.

This week on Amish Wisdom I’m welcoming back Valerie Weaver-Zercher to talk about her new book, Thrill of the ChasteValerie’s book studies the exploding subgenre of Amish fiction from every angle: Why is it so popular? What are readers seeking? Do these stories truly reflect the Amish? What motivates the authors? The publishers? Thrill of the chaste is sometimes hard-hitting but always fair, and this fascinating book is a must-read for anyone interested in the plain life. Join us Thursday at 4pm CST.

Leave a comment {HERE} for a chance to win a copy of Thrill of the Chaste (or email ckrumm@litfusegroup.com if the comment box isn’t working.) Winner will be notified next week via email.

More about Valerie: Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Orion, the Christian Century, Mennonite Weekly Review, and Sojourners, among other venues, and her work has been nominated for and received special mention for a Pushcart Prize. She received a 2009 fellowship in creative nonfiction from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Weaver-Zercher and her husband and three sons live in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Visit her website for more information.

More about Thrill of the Chaste: The Allure of Amish Romance Novels:

Browse the inspirational fiction section of your local bookstore, and you will likely find cover after cover depicting virtuous young women cloaked in modest dresses and wearing a pensive or playful expression. They hover innocently above sun-drenched pastures or rustic country lanes, often with a horse-drawn buggy in the background—or the occasional brawny stranger. Romance novels with Amish protagonists, such as the best-selling trailblazer The Shunning by Beverly Lewis, are becoming increasingly popular with a largely evangelical female audience. Thrill of the Chaste is the first book to analyze this growing trend in romance fiction and to place it into the context of contemporary literature, religion, and popular culture.

Valerie Weaver-Zercher combines research and interviews with devoted readers, publishers, and authors to produce a lively and provocative examination of the Amish romance novel. She discusses strategies that literary agents and booksellers use to drive the genre’s popularity. By asking questions about authenticity, cultural appropriation, and commodification, Thrill of the Chaste also considers Amish fiction’s effects on Amish and non-Amish audiences alike.


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