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Miriam Toews - Author

About the Author

Miriam Toews grew up in a Mennonite community in Southern Manitoba. Her previous novels include The Flying Troutmans, which was longlisted for the Orange Prize, A Boy of Good Breeding and A Complicated Kindness, which won a host of awards. She lives in Toronto. She starred in the Mexican film Silent Light (Spanish: Luz silenciosa, 2007).

Featured books by Miriam Toews

All My Puny Sorrows

All My Puny Sorrows

Author: Miriam Toews Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/04/2015

This book is shortlisted for the Folio Prize 2015. It is a Sunday Times Top Choice Summer Read. Elf and Yoli are two smart, loving sisters. Elf is a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, happily married: she wants to die. Yoli is divorced, broke, sleeping with the wrong men: she desperately wants to keep her older sister alive. When Elf's latest suicide attempt leaves her hospitalised weeks before her highly anticipated world tour, Yoli is forced to confront the impossible question of whether it is better to let a loved one go. Miriam Toews' All My Puny Sorrows, at once tender and unquiet, offers a profound reflection on the limits of love, and the sometimes unimaginable challenges we experience when childhood becomes a new country of adult commitments and responsibilities. The novel she has written - so exquisitely that you'll want to savour every word - reads as if it has been wrenched from her heart. (Christina Patterson, Sunday Times). [Miriam Toews] has produced a masterly book of such precise dignity. It is, also against all the odds, at times a desperately humorous novel. (Daily Mail). Toews takes her place alongside Alice Munro, Robertson Davies, Margaret Atwood and Mordicai Richler as the loveliest quintet of Canadian writing. (Los Angeles Times).

Irma Voth

Irma Voth

Author: Miriam Toews Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/04/2012

The stifling, reclusive life of nineteen-year-old Irma Voth, recently married, and more recently deserted is turned on its head when a film crew moves in to make a movie about the strict religious community, in which she lives. When she clashes with her domineering father over her work as a translator for the crew, Irma is set on a path towards something that feels like freedom. Along with her younger sister Aggie, wise beyond her teenage years, she hits the road and flees to the city. Upheld only by their love for each other and their smart wit, the sisters finally gain the distance to understand the tragedy that has their family in its grip. Irma Voth delves into the complicated factors that set us on the road to self-discovery and how we can sometimes find the strength to endure the really hard things that happen. It also asks that most difficult of questions: How do we forgive? And most importantly, how do we forgive ourselves?.

Other books by Miriam Toews

A Boy of Good Breeding

A Boy of Good Breeding

Author: Miriam Toews Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2018

Knute is a twenty-four-year-old single mother who returns home to Algren with her daughter to look after her father Tom, who has suffered a heart attack. Meanwhile, Hosea Funk, a friend of Tom's and the mayor of Algren has a lot on his mind. The prime minister has promised to pay a visit to whichever town in Canada has the smallest population. Algren has held this position for some time but recent baby booms and returning families, like Knute, threaten to tip Algren over the magic 1500 . . .

A Complicated Kindness

A Complicated Kindness

Author: Miriam Toews Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2018

We're Mennonites. As far as I know, we are the most embarrassing sub-sect of people to belong to if you're a teenager. Sixteen-year-old Nomi Nickel longs to hang out with Lou Reed and Marianne Faithfull in New York City's East Village. Instead she's trapped in East Village, Manitoba: a town with no train station, no bar, and where job prospects consist of slaughtering chickens at the Happy Family Farms abattoir. Since her mother and sister have left home, Nomi lives with her father, Ray, a sweet yet hapless schoolteacher. Fighting against the restraints of the town, Nomi's longing for a future of opportunity and hope sets her on course towards a climax at once startling and inevitable.

All My Puny Sorrows

All My Puny Sorrows

Author: Miriam Toews Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/04/2015

This book is shortlisted for the Folio Prize 2015. It is a Sunday Times Top Choice Summer Read. Elf and Yoli are two smart, loving sisters. Elf is a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, happily married: she wants to die. Yoli is divorced, broke, sleeping with the wrong men: she desperately wants to keep her older sister alive. When Elf's latest suicide attempt leaves her hospitalised weeks before her highly anticipated world tour, Yoli is forced to confront the impossible question of whether it is better to let a loved one go. Miriam Toews' All My Puny Sorrows, at once tender and unquiet, offers a profound reflection on the limits of love, and the sometimes unimaginable challenges we experience when childhood becomes a new country of adult commitments and responsibilities. The novel she has written - so exquisitely that you'll want to savour every word - reads as if it has been wrenched from her heart. (Christina Patterson, Sunday Times). [Miriam Toews] has produced a masterly book of such precise dignity. It is, also against all the odds, at times a desperately humorous novel. (Daily Mail). Toews takes her place alongside Alice Munro, Robertson Davies, Margaret Atwood and Mordicai Richler as the loveliest quintet of Canadian writing. (Los Angeles Times).

Women Talking

Women Talking

Author: Miriam Toews Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/08/2018

Between 2005 and 2009, in a remote religious Mennonite colony, over a hundred girls and women were knocked unconscious and raped, often repeatedly, by what many thought were ghosts or demons, as a punishment for their sins. As the women tentatively began to share the details of the attacks-waking up sore and bleeding and not understanding why-their stories were chalked up to 'wild female imagination.' Women Talking is an imagined response to these real events. Eight women, all illiterate, without any knowledge of the world outside their colony and unable even to speak the language of the country they live in, meet secretly in a hayloft with the intention of making a decision about how to protect themselves and their daughters from future harm. They have two days to make a plan, while the men of the colony are away in the city attempting to raise enough money to bail out the rapists (not ghosts as it turns out but local men) and bring them home. How should we live? How should we love? How should we treat one another? How should we organise our societies? These are questions the women in Women Talking ask one another-and Miriam Toews makes them the questions we must all ask ourselves.

Das glaserne Klavier

Das glaserne Klavier

Author: Miriam Toews Format: eBook Release Date: 02/05/2016

Elfrieda von Riesen ist eine umjubelte Konzertpianistin, reich, beruhmt, verheiratet mit dem Mann, den sie liebt. Ihre Schwester Yoli ist pleite, geschieden und schlaft unfehlbar mit den falschen Mannern. Unterschiedlicher konnten zwei Schwestern nicht sein. Und doch gibt es niemanden, dem sie naher stunden als einander. Aber Elfrieda will nicht mehr leben. Kurz vor ihrer neuen Welttournee bricht sie zusammen und bittet ihre Schwester um das Unmgliche, bittet sie um diesen letzten Dienst, der bei weitem das bersteigt, was einem Menschen zumutbar ist. Whrend ihr Agent sie verzweifelt zu erreichen versucht, setzt Yoli alles daran, Elfrieda Kraft und Zuversicht einzuflen, sie fr die Tour fit zu machen. Sie kmpft aus Leibeskrften. Denn wie sollte man einem solchen Wunsch entsprechen?In ihrem neuen Roman erzhlt Miriam Toews von der Liebe zweier Schwestern, von einer Familie, die zusammenrckt und mit Witz und Menschlichkeit den Zumutungen des Lebens trotzt. Und ihr gelingt das Unglaubliche: selbst angesichts des Schwersten bringt sie uns zum Lachen.

Swing Low

Swing Low

Author: Miriam Toews Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/08/2013

One morning Mel Toews put on his coat and hat and walked out of town, prepared to die. A loving husband and father, faithful member of the Mennonite church, and immensely popular schoolteacher, he was a pillar of his close-knit community. Yet after a lifetime of struggle, he could no longer face the darkness of manic depression. With razor-sharp precision,Swing Low tells his story in his own voice, taking us deep inside the experience of despair. But it is also a funny, winsome evocation of country life: growing up on farm, courting a wife, becoming a teacher, and rearing a happy, strong family in the midst of private torment. A humane, inspiring story of a remarkable man, father, and teacher.

Irma Voth

Irma Voth

Author: Miriam Toews Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/04/2012

The stifling, reclusive life of nineteen-year-old Irma Voth, recently married, and more recently deserted is turned on its head when a film crew moves in to make a movie about the strict religious community, in which she lives. When she clashes with her domineering father over her work as a translator for the crew, Irma is set on a path towards something that feels like freedom. Along with her younger sister Aggie, wise beyond her teenage years, she hits the road and flees to the city. Upheld only by their love for each other and their smart wit, the sisters finally gain the distance to understand the tragedy that has their family in its grip. Irma Voth delves into the complicated factors that set us on the road to self-discovery and how we can sometimes find the strength to endure the really hard things that happen. It also asks that most difficult of questions: How do we forgive? And most importantly, how do we forgive ourselves?.

The Flying Troutmans

The Flying Troutmans

Author: Miriam Toews Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/08/2009

Meet the Troutmans. Hattie is living in Paris, city of romance, but has just been dumped by her boyfriend. Min, her sister back in Canada, is going through a particularly dark period. And Min's two kids, Logan and Thebes, are not talking and talking way too much, respectively. When Hattie receives a phone call from eleven-year-old Thebes, begging her to return to Canada, she arrives home to find Min on her way to a psychiatric ward, and becomes responsible for her niece and nephew. Realising that she is way out of her league, Hattie hatches a plan to find the kids' long-lost father. With only the most tenuous lead to go on, she piles Logan and Thebes into the family van, and they head south . . .