Steinbach author publishes new book


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/12/2021 (421 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Local Steinbach author Andrew Unger is excited to be releasing his new book The Best of the Bonnet. Last year Unger published his novel Once Removed, but this new book is not quite the same. Instead, it consists of satirical articles that have been published on his website, The Daily Bonnet.

Since 2016, Unger has posted over 2,000 of those articles. The website has gained popularity within the community and even further away. “It kind of started by accident. I didn’t really ever set out with the idea in mind to start a Mennonite satire website. I wrote one article and it kind of went viral,” he said.

Unger said the positive reactions from his audience and the motivation to make people laugh was what has kept him writing these articles. The purpose of satire to him is to make people think.

JURA MCILRAITH / THE CARILLON Andrew Unger shows off his second book, The Best of the Bonnet.

His writing revolves around Mennonite life and rural quirks, although you don’t have to have a Mennonite background to enjoy his work. The son of a Mennonite minister, Unger says it’s kind of like laughing at themselves. It’s also a way for him to celebrate and critique the lifestyle, and often do both at once.

The process of writing his collection of articles was quite different from writing Once Removed. Unger recalled how he thought that putting a collection of articles together would be much simpler. “It should be super easy, they’re all already written. I can just submit the manuscript and it should be done in like, a week. But the editing process and stuff was more involved than you might assume considering that it’s already written. Not only were we editing for grammatical things, but I also updated some of the articles.”

Unger noted that previously written articles could potentially lose their relevance, depending on the topic. To keep things current, he tweaked some of the old articles to fit better and ensure their longevity.

Some of the things in The Best of the Bonnet are entirely new. Unger included a glossary of Low German words that cannot be found on the website. He also added an afterword commenting on the importance of community and the nature of satire.

Deciding on the articles to include was a delicate balance. Unger wanted to make sure popular articles and personal favourites of his were a part of the book while ensuring there wasn’t too much repetition of the same topic. He compared his decisions to those of a musical artist creating an album. He wanted the pieces to flow in a certain way.

Unger said the making of this book allowed him to revisit old works from his blog. “It was fun to go back and reread. I think I reread every single article. I started with the very first one and just clicked through them all and I hadn’t done that ever before. Some of the articles, once I’d written them and posted them, I never really looked at them again after that. “

Unger plans to continue posting on The Daily Bonnet website and hinted at another book in the works, although it won’t be finished for a while. He hopes that even if you don’t agree with some of his articles that they at least open up dialogue and discussion that allows you to think about something in a different way. The Best of the Bonnet will be available everywhere on Dec 10.


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