Author(s): Miriam Toews
The stifling, reclusive life of nineteen-year-old Irma Voth, recently married, and more recently deserted is turned on its head when a film crew moves in to make a movie about the strict religious community, in which she lives. When she clashes with her domineering father over her work as a translator for the crew, Irma is set on a path towards something that feels like freedom. Along with her younger sister Aggie, wise beyond her teenage years, she hits the road and flees to the city. Upheld only by their love for each other and their smart wit, the sisters finally gain the distance to understand the tragedy that has their family in its grip. "Irma Voth" delves into the complicated factors that set us on the road to self-discovery and how we can sometimes find the strength to endure the really hard things that happen. It also asks that most difficult of questions: How do we forgive? And most importantly, how do we forgive ourselves?.
A critically acclaimed story of love, longing, and dark family secrets from one of Canada's most-loved authors.
"Toews . . . is clearly an artistic powerhouse. . . . In this compelling and beautiful novel, Toews's quirky and authentic voice shows increasing range and maturity. She is well on her way to fulfilling her promise as an important and serious writer."
"There is something quite mesmerizing about Toews's prose. It's to do with the rhythm of her language, with the seeming effortlessness of it and, when combined with her quick, offhand wit, it can enliven even the darkest of moments."
"-- Toronto Star"
"Toews's ability to generate comedy and heartache at the same time just soars."
"Irma Voth is wryly funny and perceptive."
"-- National Post"
"It is beautiful, strange, and fascinating, and readers wise enough to trust in the author's sure hand will be rewarded with a novel that takes them someplace altogether unexpected."
-- Kerry Clare, "Quill & Quire"
"A beautiful, heartbreaking novel. . . . Calls to mind Ann-Marie MacDonald's 1996 epic, Fall On Your Knees."
"-- Winnipeg Free Press"
"A stunning culture clash between the Mennonite and art communities. . . . The internal conflict over when to reveal hard information, in life or in art, is one of Toews's key themes. A sequence about how it feels to tell the truth is a knockout."
"-- NOW "(Toronto) NNNN
Miriam Toews grew up in a Mennonite community in Southern Manitoba. Her previous novels include The Flying Troutmans, which was longlisted for the Orange Prize, A Boy of Good Breeding and A Complicated Kindness, which won a host of awards. She lives in Toronto. She starred in the Mexican film Silent Light (Spanish: Luz silenciosa, 2007).