Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Reading age: 18
A Danuta Gleed finalist and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, this collection of short stories breaks through the surface of authoritarian religion and families, and into the lives of the women and children often trapped within its constraints.
Set on the Canadian prairies, one story follows a young girl into a labyrinth of frozen meat lockers where she becomes trapped by more than just the ice. In another, a son cares for the dying father who ground his childhood to dust.
Threaded with moments of both dark humour and unexpected grace, this second edition of Mennonites Don’t Dance also contains a new story, not included in the original.
About the author
- Short-listed, OLA Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction
- Short-listed, Danuta Gleed Award
- Short-listed, Commonwealth Writers Prize
Darcie Friesen Hossack grew up in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, the daughter of a Mennonite mother and Seventh-day Adventist father. Traditions that may look similar from the outside, these faiths are oil to vinegar, mixing only when shaken. Quickly separating. Mennonites Don’t Dance, Darcie’s first book, won critical acclaim and landed on multiple shortlists, including the Commonwealth Prize. It was a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Award in 2011, a year dubbed “Year of the Short Story.” Darcie lives near Jasper National Park in Hinton, Alberta.
“. . . a complex treasure . . . Each story is wrapped in themes of anger, guilt and the Mennonite work ethic. Thankfully, the jagged edges of this treasure are gilded, occasionally, with grace and hope.” Adelia Neufeld Wiens, Winnipeg Free Press
“There’s an unfussy purity of expression here, and of narrative control, that sometimes recalls the short fiction of Alistair MacLeod. Images come cleanly to the mind’s eye while the prose itself recedes. The other MacLeodian element is Hossack’s stealthy way with emotion. She never tells you how to feel. When you do find your heart opening to these characters, it rises from their auth-
enticity, and a sure authorial hand with the interplay of surprise and inevitability.” Jim Bartley, The Globe and Mail