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list price: $21.00
edition:Paperback
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published: Sep 2017
ISBN:9780735274570
publisher: Knopf Canada
imprint: Vintage Canada

Swing Low

A Life

by Miriam Toews

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literary, personal memoirs
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $21.00
edition:Paperback
also available: Paperback
published: Sep 2017
ISBN:9780735274570
publisher: Knopf Canada
imprint: Vintage Canada
Description

From the bestselling author of A Complicated Kindness comes an extraordinary memoir about her father and his struggle with manic depression. Now in a stunning new package.

     One morning, Mel Toews put on his coat and hat and walked out of town, prepared to die. A loving husband and father, faithful member of the Mennonite church, and immensely popular school teacher, he was a pillar of his close-knit community. Yet after a lifetime of struggle, he could no longer face the darkness of manic depression. In Swing Low, his daughter Miriam recounts Mel's life as she imagines he would have told it, right up to the day he took his final walk. A gracefully written and compassionate recounting of a man's battle with depression in a small Mennonite community, Swing Low is a moving meditation on illness, family, faith and love.

Contributor Notes

 MIRIAM TOEWS is the author of six bestselling novels: Summer of My Amazing LuckA Boy of Good BreedingA Complicated Kindness (Canada Reads 2006, Canada Reads Canadian Bestseller of the Decade 2010), The Flying TroutmansIrma Voth, and All My Puny Sorrows (finalist for the Giller Prize and winner of the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize). She is a winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction, the Libris Award for Fiction Book of the Year, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and the Writers' Trust Marian Engel/Timothy Findley Award. She lives in Toronto.

Editorial Review

“Audacious, original and profoundly moving … A deeply affecting work ….This is a document for the living, and its virtues are more than literary; healing is a likely outcome of a book imbued with the righteous anger, compassion and humanity of Swing Low.”
The Globe and Mail

“ A fine, fluent book teeming with anecdote and incident, echoes and images ….Swing Low is a detailed, textured portrait, not just of human life, but of a community, of small-town, Mennonite Manitoba.”
Quill &Quire

“Toews ’ novelistic skills (the award-winning comic novels Summer of My Amazing Luck and A Boy of Good Breeding) are richly apparent in her evocative characterizations and in the deft drama of the narrative ….A profoundly affecting book.”
Toronto Star

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Swing Low

While many father memoirs are remarkable for their inventive excellence, few are as original and as powerful as Swing Low. In Swing Low: A Life, Miriam Toews imagines herself into her father’s head, and brings him back to life as a narrative “I.” Her imaginative accomplishment is all the more remarkable in that her father suffered from bipolar disease throughout his life, and eventually his depression became so deep and his mind so confused that that he committed suicide by stepping in front of a train. Such a story would be horrific and depressing, if it weren’t for the calmness of the narrative voice. Despite the father’s mental illness and suicide, Swing Low is a wonderfully sane and life affirming book.

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