August 07, 2011

‘Irma Voth’ by Miriam Toews

For anyone who is a fan of Miriam Toews’ writing – and even for those who haven’t read her before – Irma Voth is a novel that is worth purchasing, reading and keeping on the bookshelf.

Set in Mexico in a small Mennonite community, 18-year-old Irma Voth has just married a Mexican boy despite protests from her family. Their union might have resulted in a happy ending, except a year later he leaves her alone and without an income.

Just when things seem impossible, a film crew arrives in Irma’s community. Suddenly finding herself immersed in a modern world that is both foreign and forbidden, Irma’s life completely changes.

Irma Voth is Miriam Toews sixth book, and it is filled with both emotion and humour that keeps the reader engaged and invested in the main characters. Toews was born and raised as a Mennonite in Steinbach, and her knowledge and experiences make Irma’s character very realistic.

Toews 2004 novel – A Complicated Kindness – was her breakthrough title. It spent over a year on the Canadian bestsellers list, and won the Governor General's Award for English Fiction.

The novel, about a teenage girl who longs to escape her small Russian Mennonite town and hang out with Lou Reed in the slums of New York City, was also nominated for the Giller Prize and was the winning title in the 2006 edition of Canada Reads.

THIN AIR 2011 is very proud to have Miriam Toews at the festival this year.

If you would like to follow her on Twitter, click here

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