Anna Balmer Myers
Anna Balmer Myers was an American author of romantic novels featuring the local color of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
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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