"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
"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
"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
The sun rises on a quiet June morning in 2009. August Epp sits alone in the hayloft of a barn, anxiously bent over his notebook. He writes quickly, aware that his solitude will soon be broken. Eight women--ordinary grandmothers, mothers and teenagers; yet to August, each one extraordinary-- will climb the ladder into the loft, and the day's true task will begin. This task will be both simple and subversive: August, like the women, is a traditional Mennonite, and he has been asked to record a secret conversation.
Thus begins Miriam Toews' spellbinding novel. Gradually, as we hear the women's vivid voices console, tease, admonish, regale and debate each other, we piece together the reason for the gathering: they have forty-eight hours to make a life-altering choice on behalf of all the women and children in the colony. And like a vast night sky coming into view behind the bright sparks of their voices, we learn of the devastating events that have led to this moment.
Acerbic, funny, tender, sorrowful and wise, Women Talking is composed of equal parts humane love and deep anger. It is award-winning writer Miriam Toews' most astonishing novel to date, containing within its two short days and hayloft setting an expansive, timeless universe of thinking and feeling about women--and men--in our contemporary world.