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Miriam Toews

Canada (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.

A series of letters she wrote in 2000 to the father of her son were published on the website and were profiled on the radio show This American Life in an episode about missing parents.

In 2007 she made her screen debut in the Mexican film "Luz silenciosa" directed by Carlos Reygadas, which screened at the Cannes Film Festival.

In Sept. 2008, Knopf Canada published her novel "The Flying Troutmans", about a 28-year-old woman from Manitoba who takes her 15-year-old nephew and 11-year-old niece on a road trip to California after their mentally ill mother has been hospitalized.
Non fiction
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Best Book nominee (2009) : The Flying Troutmans

Miriam Toews recommends
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."
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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