Miriam Toews – Women Talking


A transformative and necessary work – as completely unexpected as it is inspired – by the award-winning author of the best-selling novels All My Puny Sorrows and A Complicated Kindness.

Based on actual events that happened between 2005 and 2009 in a remote Mennonite community where more than 100 girls and women were drugged unconscious and assaulted in the night by what they were told (by the men of the colony) were “ghosts” or “demons”, Miriam Toews’ bold and affecting novel Women Talking is an imagined response to these real events.

The novel takes place over 48 hours as eight women gather in secret in a neighbor’s barn while the men are in a nearby town posting bail for the attackers. They have come together to debate, on behalf of all the women and children in the community, whether to stay or leave before the men return. Taking minutes is the one man trusted and invited by the women to witness the conversation – a former outcast whose own surprising story is revealed as the women speak.

By turns poignant, witty, acerbic, bitter, tender, devastating, and heartbreaking, the voices in this extraordinary novel are unforgettable. Toews has chosen to focus the novel tightly on a particular time and place, and yet it contains within its 48 hours and setting inside a hayloft an entire vast universe of thinking and feeling about the experience of women (and therefore men, too) in our contemporary world. In a word: astonishing.

Author: Miriam Toews
Narrator: Matthew Edison
Duration: 5 hours 57 minutes
Released: 19 Feb 2004
Publisher: Recorded Books
Language: English

User Review:

circulation despondent

Since I was raised Mennonite I can relate though I was not in as restrictive a sect as this book. It is just so hard to believe that this happened though I know it is true, makes me so much more aware of work yet to do where such restrictive practice is in place!! Well written and I am so glad she took such care in demonstrating the thought processes and the care with which these women had to plan, knowing the cost of their decision. Would like to see a continuing saga.