Women Talking (Hardcover)

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"This amazing, sad, shocking, but touching novel, based on a real-life event, could be right out of The Handmaid's Tale." Margaret Atwood, on Twitter

One evening, eight Mennonite women climb into a hay loft to conduct a secret meeting. For the past two years, each of these women, and more than a hundred other girls in their colony, has been repeatedly violated in the night by demons coming to punish them for their sins. Now that the women have learned they were in fact drugged and attacked by a group of men from their own community, they are determined to protect themselves and their daughters from future harm.

While the men of the colony are off in the city, attempting to raise enough money to bail out the rapists and bring them home, these women--all illiterate, without any knowledge of the world outside their community and unable even to speak the language of the country they live in--have very little time to make a choice: Should they stay in the only world they've ever known or should they dare to escape?

Based on real events and told through the “minutes” of the women's all-female symposium, Toews's masterful novel uses wry, politically engaged humor to relate this tale of women claiming their own power to decide.

About the Author

Miriam Toews is the author of six previous bestselling novels: All My Puny Sorrows, Summer of My Amazing Luck, A Boy of Good Breeding, A Complicated Kindness, The Flying Troutmans, and Irma Voth, and one work of nonfiction, Swing Low: A Life. She is 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 Engel/Findley Award. She lives in Toronto.

Praise For…

Women Talking is an astonishment, a volcano of a novel with slowly and furiously mounting pressures of anguish and love and rage. No other book I've read in the past year has spoken so lucidly about our current moment, and yet none has felt as timeless; the always-wondrous Miriam Toews has written a book as close to a Greek tragedy as a contemporary Western novelist can come.” —Lauren Groff, author of FATES AND FURIES and FLORIDA

“Don't miss this one! This amazing, sad, shocking, but touching novel, based on a real-life event, could be right out of The Handmaid's Tale.” —Margaret Atwood, on Twitter

“Miriam Toews has written a modern classic as real and warm and terrifying as a pail of fresh blood. It's a perfect work of art that will leave you ill with awe.” —Catherine Lacey, author of THE ANSWERS and NOBODY IS EVER MISSING

“I am in awe of this novel. In Toews's brilliant design, eight women in a Mennonite hayloft manage to lay bare the rancid global root system of patriarchy. Their story is terrifying, joyful, gruesome, and magnetic. What a reckoning--and what a gift.” —Leni Zumas, author of RED CLOCKS

“Miriam Toews's Women Talking is a flawless, ferocious work of art. I have yet to read a more scathing indictment of patriarchal violence, or a more illuminating quest to comprehend the most vital contours of the human experience: what is agency, what is meaning, what is justice, what is love. This is the kind of novel that changes you. Get ready.” —Laura van den Berg, author of THE THIRD HOTEL

“[A] sharp blade of a novel . . . Toews' knowing wit and grasp of dire subjects align her with Margaret Atwood, while her novel's slicing concision and nearly Socratic dialogue has the impact of a courtroom drama or a Greek tragedy.” —Booklist, Starred Review

Women Talking wants another world to be possible, and in the re-scripting of reality into fiction, attempts to imagine it where it has not yet grown of its own volition . . . The novel reminds us how difficult it is to know how to live, forgive others or ourselves, seek justice, or know freedom. No matter the depth of their solidarity, we can imagine that each individual will undoubtedly spend a lifetime coming to their own answers, seeking knowledge with their own hard-won words. But we can hope that the common questions asked by women talking, by Women Talking--their listening, their anger and love, their sometimes vastly differing conclusions--might offer a further way of seeing and finally choosing.” —Madeleine Thien, author of DO NOT SAY WE HAVE NOTHING, Literary Review of Canada

“Irresistible . . . its intelligence, its honesty and, above all, its compassion provide a kind of existential balm--a comfort not unlike the sort you might find by opening a bottle of wine and having a long conversation with (yes, really) a true friend.” —Curtis Sittenfeld, The New York Times Book Review on ALL MY PUNY SORROWS

“In the crucible of [Miriam Toews'] genius, tears and laughter are ground into some magical elixir that seems like the essence of life.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post on ALL MY PUNY SORROWS

“[A] wrenchingly honest, darkly funny novel. (Grade: A)” —Entertainment Weekly on ALL MY PUNY SORROWS

“Touching and unexpectedly humorous.” —Marie Claire on ALL MY PUNY SORROWS

“As jagged and ripped open as a freshly torn heart.” —The Boston Globe on ALL MY PUNY SORROWS

“Bold, brash and big-hearted . . . Toews writes from the point of view of Yoli, whose interior monologue reads like a cross between David Foster Wallace and Robin Williams if both were, in fact, a 40-something Mennonite woman with authority issues. She's a smart aleck with heart, a philosopher with a comic's timing.” —The Dallas Morning News on ALL MY PUNY SORROWS

All My Puny Sorrows is a bittersweet story about those who survive and those who can't fight the current.” —Minneapolis StarTribune on ALL MY PUNY SORROWS

“[A] triumph in its depiction of the love the sisters share.” —Starred review, Publishers Weekly on ALL MY PUNY SORROWS

“[A] masterful, original investigation into love, loss and survival.” —Starred review, Kirkus Reviews on ALL MY PUNY SORROWS

“Funny and irresistibly warm.” —Buzzfeed on ALL MY PUNY SORROWS

Product Details
ISBN: 9781635572582
ISBN-10: 1635572584
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2019
Pages: 240
Language: English