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Miriam Toews


Canada (b.1964)

Miriam Toews is a Canadian writer of Mennonite descent. She grew up in Steinbach, Manitoba and has lived in Montreal and London, before settling in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Toews studied at the University of Manitoba and the University of King's College in Halifax, and has also worked as a freelance newspaper and radio journalist. Her non-fiction book "Swing Low: A Life" was a memoir of her father, a victim of lifelong depression. Her 2004 novel "A Complicated Kindness" was her breakthrough work, spending over a year on the Canadian bestseller lists and winning the Governor General's Award for English Fiction. The novel, about a teenage girl who longs to escape her small Russian Mennonite town and hang out with Lou Reed in the slums of New York City, was also nominated for the Giller Prize and was the winning title in the 2006 edition of Canada Reads.

Genres: Literary Fiction
 
Non fiction
   Swing Low (2001)
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Awards
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Best Book nominee (2009) : The Flying Troutmans
Rathbone Folio Prize Best Book nominee (2015) : All My Puny Sorrows


Miriam Toews recommends
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Children of the Day (2005)
Sandra Birdsell
"With one family and in the course of a single day, Birdsell beautifully illuminates the age-old tensions between and within the Mennonites and the Metis of Manitoba. I love the defiant yet vulnerable voices of the Vandal girls, who are caught in the centre of their parents' strife."
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Blackmoor (2008)
Edward Hogan
"Blackmoor is dead smart and heartbreaking. It's offbeat and incredibly compelling. I love the way Edward Hogan writes."
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Heart-Breaker (2018)
Claudia Dey
"Behold the virtuosity of Heartbreaker! Claudia Dey has a perfect ear and the sharpest eye. Her portrait of Pony Darlene Fontaine, and the strange world she inhabits, is devastating, unsparing, and unforgettable."
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The Third Hotel (2018)
Laura van den Berg
"I love the way Laura van den Berg writes. The Third Hotel is another of her beguiling little masterpieces. One that, with ruminative grace and sublime wit, answers and elucidates the question of what it means to be human."
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Sealskin (2018)
Tyler Keevil
"Beautiful writing...stunning."
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Watching You Without Me (2019)
Lynn Coady
"Thank God for Lynn Coady's singular voice and deliciously skewed worldview. Every book of hers is an occasion to celebrate!"
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The Vanishing Sky (2020)
L Annette Binder
"In her intimate and epic debut novel, L Annette Binder lifts the lid on one family's darkest story to offer vital insight into daily life under the last days of the Third Reich. The Vanishing Sky is a heartrending and blazingly lucid depiction of Nazi Germany as not a simple monolith of evil but as an oppressive, fanatical political regime that was encountered, accommodated, rejected, and survived by ordinary people, people just like you and me."

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