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Who is Ingrid Rimland?

Ingrid was a child during World War II, born to German-descent Mennonite wheat farmers in the Ukraine who had been persecuted in the Soviet Union for their pacifist beliefs. The end of World War II saw her and her family undertake a 1000 mile trek back to the homeland of their forefathers, now a devastated wasteland.

From there, still a youngster, she moved with her family and friends to the rain forests of Paraguay to pioneer the jungle and live, as her grandmother put it,". . . far from the wicked world."

It was a simple, barefoot life. Ingrid married there and started a family, only to discover shortly thereafter that life had handed her a struggle that would make all her childhood hardships pale by comparison. For while Ingrid was endowed with all the riches of a strong and questing mind, her first son's mind was "absent"-- or so all the "specialists" said.

She was young, poor and in pain but determined to make her child well. She came to Canada in 1960 and to the United States in 1967. With no more than three years' worth of grammar school, she talked her way into a university because she knew: "That is where I belong." From Ann Landers's column, at the age of 31, she learned the rudiments of English.

Four years later she graduated from Wichita State University--magna cum laude and tenth place in a class of 400. Two additional years gave her a master's degree, followed by a doctorate in 1979 from the University of the Pacific.

Eight years after she wrote her first coherent sentence in English, she had an award-winning ethnic novel, winning the prestigious California Literature Medal Award as the best fiction writer in that state for 1977.

For many years, she was a full-time writer with a flourishing speaking career and keynote bookings nationwide. Her son--written off in infancy as a "non-mind" who would never walk, speak, feed himself or recognize another human being--has graduated with honors from a public high school.

Ingrid Rimland has a kaleidoscopic story to tell. She has thrilled audiences across this country with an account of a courageous struggle against overwhelming odds. You will never forget Ingrid Rimland as she tells how she baked her wedding cake in an anthill.

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