Author Miriam Toews (pronounced Tayves) has enjoyed modest success in her home country of Canada. Of Mennonite tradition (see sidebar) and hailing from rural Manitoba, many of Toews's novels explore this way of life. She won the 2004 Governor General's Award for Fiction for A Complicated Kindness
, and she was awarded the 2008 Writer's Trust Fiction Prize for her novel, The Flying Troutmans
. All this to say, Toews has writerly chops.
came about when, in 2006, she was approached to star in a film by Mexican director Carlos Reygadas. He was taken with her photograph - seen on the jacket of her novel, A Complicated Kindness
- and felt she would be perfect to play the role of a Mennonite wife living in northern Mexico, trapped in a troubled marriage. Toews studied film at university but had never acted and, initially, thought Reygadas was a...
Beyond the Book
Menno Simons was an Anabaptist religious leader born in 1496 in Witmarsen (the Netherlands). Although he was not the founder of this branch of religion, he was a very important figure in the organizing of the Dutch Mennonite church, and his followers became known as Mennonites.
According to the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia, Simons was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest at Utrecht in 1524, but quickly began to question some of the church's beliefs and practices when, "while he was administering the Mass he began to doubt whether the bread and the wine were actually being changed into the flesh and blood of...