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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!



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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

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Books by this Author

Books by Miriam Toews at BookBrowse
Women Talking jacket All My Puny Sorrows jacket Irma Voth jacket
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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.
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    If you enjoyed:
    Irma Voth

    Try:
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  • 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

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