Miriam Toews
All My Puny Sorrows

All My Puny Sorrows

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The publisher says of Toews: "her work is rich with deep human feeling and compassion but because her observations are knife-sharp and her books wickedly funny."

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A Complicated Kindness

A Complicated Kindness

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From Publishers Weekly: "A 16-year-old rebels against the conventions of her strict Mennonite community (which she observes are "the most embarrassing sub-sect of people to belong to if you're a teenager"). Her gentle, uncommunicative father, Ray, isn't much of a sounding board as Nomi grapples with teenage life. Once a "curious, hopeful child" Nomi now relies on biting humor as her life spins out of control—she stops attending school, shaves her head and wanders around in a haze—while Ray sells off most of their furniture, escapes on all-night drives and increasingly withdraws into himself. Bold, tender and intelligent, this is a clear-eyed exploration of belief and belonging, and the irresistible urge to escape both."

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Women Talking

Women Talking

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From the publisher: "Based on real events and told through the 'minutes' of the women's all-female symposium, Toews's masterful novel uses wry, politically engaged humor to relate this tale of women claiming their own power to decide. One evening, eight Mennonite women climb into a hay loft to conduct a secret meeting. For the past two years, each of these women, and more than a hundred other girls in their colony, has been repeatedly violated in the night by demons coming to punish them for their sins. Now that the women have learned they were in fact drugged and attacked by a group of men from their own community, they are determined to protect themselves and their daughters from future harm."

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Fight Night

Fight Night

This moving and funny story portrays three generations of women trying to find love on their own terms. When nine year old Swiv is expelled from school for fighting, she starts spending her days with her frail grandmother who has an unconventional approach to at-home schooling. She tasks Swiv with writing letters to her absent father, who seems to have abandoned his daughter and pregnant wife—and in these letters, a book's worth of complex family history and present struggles is revealed. A bighearted novel with an undercurrent of sadness, with wisdom far beyond its 9-year-old narrator's years.

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