Saloma Miller Furlong will be the last featured Writer's Read author of the year on Thursday, March 14, at 5:30 p.m. Furlong grew up in and left an Amish community in Ohio and wrote about her experiences in her book, "Why I Left the Amish." (Photo by Kerstin Martin)

Upcoming Writers Read Author Left Amish for Freedom and Education

What would cause you to leave your faith?

Saloma Miller Furlong, an author who grew up in and left an Amish community in Ohio, will be the last “Writers Read Dinner and Author series,” guest of the year on Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 5:30 p.m., in Eastern Mennonite University’s (EMU) Martin Chapel.

Furlong will read from her memoir, Why I Left the Amish (Michigan State University Press), telling how she made the difficult decision to leave and her “desire for freedom and a formal education.”

“The book tells the story of both worlds–the Amish childhood and the contemporary professional woman working at Amherst College,” wrote Shirley Hershey Showalter in a book review. “Most readers will come to the book because it promises secrets of Amish life that are often hidden in romantic images popularized by mass media. The truth is that Amish families contain some extraordinary resources for collective support but that this support is not equally distributed to all. And they have their share of sin and shame hidden behind closed doors.”

Reserve tickets online at or by calling the EMU language & literature department at 540-432-4168 by Fri., Mar. 8.

In addition to Why I Left the Amish, Furlong has also published short stories and essays in Calyx; A Journal of Art and Literature by Women (1997) and in Vermont Voices III: An Anthology of Vermont Writers (1999).

Furlong is a 2007 graduate of Smith College with a major in German studies and a minor in philosophy. Her education includes research on the Amish with Donald Kraybill, PhD, distinguished college professor and senior fellow at the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies and a 1967 EMU grad.

She is currently co-writing, with her husband, David, a sequel to her memoir.

More information

Furlong’s book, Why I Left the Amish, will be available for purchase. A book signing and short question-and-answer session with the author will follow her reading. Sign-language interpretation is available upon request.

• General admission, $15

• EMU students with a full meal plan, $5

• All other students, $7