Anna Balmer Myers
She was born in Lancaster County in Manheim, Pennsylvania and attended school there. She later attended Drexel University and lived and worked as a schoolteacher in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her most well known work is Amanda: A Daughter of the Mennonites (1921); other works include Patchwork; a Story of "the Plain People" (1920), The Madonna of the Curb (1922), I Lift My Lamp, and a collection of poetry entitled Rain on the Roof (1931). Amanda, about a young Mennonite girl who seeks an education, is hired as a teacher in a local one-room schoolhouse, and eventually marries a childhood friend, contains many delightful appreciations of life along with early 20th century reminiscences, as indicated by such chapters as: "The Snitzing Party", "Boiling Apple Butter", "The Spelling Bee", and "One Heart Made o' Two" . Patchwork, the story of a young girl growing up within a community of "plain people", some of the story in the format of a diary, includes the girl's first romance. Myers' work is frequently viewed as a gentle corrective to the harsh misrepresentations of another novelist, Helen Reimensnyder Martin, also from Lancaster County, whose stories about the Pennsylvania Dutch of Lancaster County, particularly her Tillie: a Mennonite Maid, provoked cries of misrepresentation from those who resented her depictions. Myers also authored another work, quite different from her other fiction, I Lift My Lamp, a historical novel about the early settlement of Lancaster County, Henry William Stiegel and his glassworks in Manheim, a Mennonite Eby family, and the Ephrata Cloister.
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Anna Balmer Myers
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