Women-Talking
2020 Longlist

Women Talking

artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

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.

While the men of the colony are off in the city, attempting to raise enough money to bail out the rapists and bring them home, these women – all illiterate, without any knowledge of the world outside their community and unable even to speak the language of the country they live in – have very little time to make a choice: Should they stay in the only world they’ve ever known or should they dare to escape?

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Miriam
Toews

Miriam Toews is the author of five previous bestselling novels: Summer of My Amazing Luck, A Boy of Good Breeding, A Complicated Kindness, The Flying Troutmans, and Irma Voth, and one work of non-fiction, Swing Low: A Life.  She is a winner of the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the Libris Award for Fiction Book of the Year, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and the Writers Trust Marian Engel/Timothy Findley Award. She lives in Toronto.

Photo by Carol Loewen

Miriam Toews is the author of five previous bestselling novels: Summer of My Amazing Luck, A Boy of Good Breeding, A Complicated Kindness, The Flying Troutmans, and Irma Voth, and one work of non-fiction, Swing Low: A Life.  She is a winner of the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the Libris Award for Fiction Book of the Year, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and the Writers Trust Marian Engel/Timothy Findley Award. She lives in Toronto.

Photo by Carol Loewen

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NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

Women talk through August Epp, an ostracized male teacher, to tell their story of secretive sexual abuse in Mennonite Colony. Toew’s mature style of prose, with humour and gravitas transmits a difficult and disturbing picture of the illiterate women as they take control through a process of talking and thinking together after a period of shamed silence. Inspiring and subversive, it sharply and wittily conveys a modern tragedy.

Ottawa Public Library, Canada

A powerful and exceptionally written book that manages to be heartbreaking and funny and intelligent and subtle all at once.

Winnipeg Public Library, Canada

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Country
Canada
Original Language
English
Author

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