An Evening with Miriam ToewsThursday Aug 23 2018 7:00 pm, Winnipeg, Grant Park in the Atrium
Winnipeg launch of Women Talking (Knopf Canada) featuring a conversation hosted by Christine Fellows. Co-presented by the Winnipeg International Writers Festival as part of our collaborative Fall Literary Series.
Based on actual events that happened between 2005 and 2009 in a remote Mennonite community where more than 100 girls and women were drugged unconscious and assaulted in the night by what they were told (by the men of the colony) were “ghosts” or “demons,” Miriam Toews’ bold and affecting novel Women Talking is an imagined response to these real events.
Miriam Toews’ most recent novel, the bestselling All My Puny Sorrows, was published in 2014 to wide acclaim. It won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Folio Prize and the Wellcome Book Prize, among other accolades. It also appeared on many year-end best-book lists, nationally and internationally. Toews is the author of five other bestselling novels: Summer of My Amazing Luck, A Boy of Good Breeding, A Complicated Kindness (winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, winner of Canada Reads, and a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize), The Flying Troutmans and Irma Voth, and one work of non-fiction, Swing Low: A Life. In addition to the awards mentioned above, she has also won the Libris Award for Fiction Book of the Year, the Writers’ Trust Marian Engel/Timothy Findley Award, and Italy’s Sinbad Award for Fiction. Miriam Toews lives in Toronto.
Christine Fellows is a singer-songwriter from Winnipeg. Her seventh studio album, Roses on the Vine, comes out in November.
- by Miriam Toews
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A FINALIST FOR THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S LITERARY AWARD: A transformative and necessary work--as completely unexpected as it is inspired--by the award-winning author of the bestselling novels All My Puny Sorrows and A Complicated Kindness.
The sun rises on a quiet June morning in 2009. August Epp sits alone in the hayloft of a barn, anxiously bent over his notebook. He writes quickly, aware that his solitude will soon be broken. Eight women--ordinary grandmothers, mothers and teenagers; yet to August, each one extraordinary-- will climb the ladder into the loft, and the day's true task will begin. This task will be both simple and subversive: August, like the women, is a traditional Mennonite, and he has been asked to record a secret conversation.
Thus begins Miriam Toews' spellbinding novel. Gradually, as we hear the women's vivid voices console, tease, admonish, regale and debate each other, we piece together the reason for the gathering: they have forty-eight hours to make a life-altering choice on behalf of all the women and children in the colony. And like a vast night sky coming into view behind the bright sparks of their voices, we learn of the devastating events that have led to this moment.
Acerbic, funny, tender, sorrowful and wise, Women Talking is composed of equal parts humane love and deep anger. It is award-winning writer Miriam Toews' most astonishing novel to date, containing within its two short days and hayloft setting an expansive, timeless universe of thinking and feeling about women--and men--in our contemporary world.