Announcing our Top 20 Books of 2022

Miriam Toews biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Miriam Toews
Photo: Carol Loewen

Miriam Toews

How to pronounce Miriam Toews: Tayvz (rhymes with waves)

Miriam Toews Biography

Miriam Toews is the author of five previous bestselling novels: Summer of My Amazing Luck, A Boy of Good Breeding, A Complicated Kindness (Canada Reads 2006, Canada Reads Canadian Bestseller of the Decade 2010), 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. 

Why is Towes pronounced Tayvz?
Toews is a common Mennonite Low German name, believed to be of Russian or Dutch origin. According to a number of sources, the likely transition seems to be that "van Toovs" or "Toovs" became "Tows" with an umlaut on the "o" when the family sought refuge in Germany. There is no English equivalent to umlaut "o", but the closest is the long "a" in "make"; "w" is pronounced "v" in German. And when the family moved to the US the umlaut o was converted to "oe." And thus Toews rhymes with waves!



This bio was last updated on 09/17/2021. In a perfect world, we would like to keep all of BookBrowse's biographies up to date, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's simply impossible to do. So, if the date of this bio is not recent, you may wish to do an internet search for a more current source, such as the author's website or social media presence. If you are the author or publisher and would like us to update this biography, send the complete text and we will replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Interview

Miriam Toews talks about her experiences growing up in a Mennonite community and how acting in Carlos Reygada's film Silent Light impacted her novel, Irma Voth.

In the video below, Miriam Toews talks about her experiences growing up in a Mennonite community and how acting in Carlos Reygada's film Silent Light impacted her novel, Irma Voth.

Miriam Toews on Mennonitism, acting in the film Silent Light, and writing Irma Voth

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Miriam Toews at BookBrowse
Fight Night jacket Women Talking jacket All My Puny Sorrows jacket Irma Voth jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Miriam Toews but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Kim Barnes

    Kim Barnes

    Among other works, Kim Barnes is the author of Finding Caruso, A Country Called Home and two memoirs, In the Wilderness: Coming of Age in Unknown Country - a finalist for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize - and Hungry for the World. ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Irma Voth

    Try:
    In the Kingdom of Men
    by Kim Barnes

  • Vanora Bennett

    Vanora Bennett

    Vanora Bennett became a journalist almost by accident. Having learned Russian and been hired after university by Reuters, she was catapulted out of the classical-music life of her family and straight into the adrenaline-... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Irma Voth

    Try:
    Portrait of an Unknown Woman
    by Vanora Bennett

We recommend 28 similar authors

View all 28 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join and Save 20%!

Become a member and
discover exceptional books.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: I'm the Girl
    I'm the Girl
    by Courtney Summers
    YA author Courtney Summers doesn't believe in shielding her teenage readers from the world's darkest...
  • Book Jacket: They're Going to Love You
    They're Going to Love You
    by Meg Howrey
    Teenage Carlisle lives with her mother in Ohio, but their relationship has never felt particularly ...
  • Book Jacket: The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
    The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
    by Isaac Blum
    That irreplaceable feeling of everyone knowing your name. The yearning to be anonymous. Parents ...
  • Book Jacket: Now Is Not the Time to Panic
    Now Is Not the Time to Panic
    by Kevin Wilson
    The edge is a shantytown filled with gold seekers. We are fugitives, and the law is skinny with ...

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Dinosaurs
    by Lydia Millet

    "Tender but never sentimental, wearing its intelligence in a low-slung style, Dinosaurs is a garden of earthly delights."—Vogue

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

W N, W Not

and be entered to win..

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
Cradles of the Reich
by Jennifer Coburn
Three women, a nation seduced by a madman, and the Nazi breeding program to create a so-called master race.
Who Said...

We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.