According to numerous articles and blog posts I read recently, Amish Fiction is one of the hottest genres on the market. During the recent recession, while large bookstore chains were shutting their doors and publishing houses were scaling back, agents and editors continued to seek Amish fiction. Initially, many thought this rapid explosion of buggies and bonnets would wane, but halfway through 2011, this genre shows no signs of fading. If anything, it continues to grow. Even the Amish are getting in on this trend. (You can read about the Amish selling Amish fiction here.)
As I surfed the internet for everything Amish (I bet Great Gramma never thought those two words—Internet and Amish—would appear in the same sentence.) I began to explore the why behind the what. Why has this genre taken off during such a tumultuous, rapid-fire, technologically-saturated time?
According to readers, Amish fiction allows them to relax and escape to a simpler time. A time when man’s sustenance depended on their hard work, not the shifting stock market. A time when neighbors not only knew your name, but came by to help when a need arose. A time when you knew what you believed and stood for truth unashamedly. Values we all espouse, but sometimes struggle to see in our noisy world of news bites and politics.
I believe Christian Amish fiction (haven’t read the secular version) provides the same sense of community we see in many of our past and present sitcoms. (Although I’m about to date myself, as I haven’t watched television in quite some time.) Ten, maybe fifteen years ago, America loved Cheers, the bar where everybody knows your name. Then came Seinfeld, a close-knit community centered around an apartment complex. After that, Friends hit the scene, and today there are shows like “How I Met Your Mother.”
What about you? Do you read Amish Fiction? If so, why? What do you believe makes Amish Fiction different than other genres? Any other genres or novels that provide the same emotional take-away? IF so, share them. And if you haven’t had a chance to vote yet, make sure to do so. You might even win a free book out of the deal.
Have a great mid-week-day and come back Friday for our author reveal!