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Women Talking

A profound, unsettling novel from the award-winning author of All My Puny Sorrows.

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Format
Hardback
ISBN
9780571340323
Date Published
30.08.2018
Delivery
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Summary

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, Twitter

Between 2005 and 2009, in a remote religious Mennonite colony, over a hundred girls and women were knocked unconscious and raped, often repeatedly, by what many thought were ghosts or demons, as a punishment for their sins. As the women tentatively began to share the details of the attacks—waking up sore and bleeding and not understanding why—their stories were chalked up to ‘wild female imagination.’

Women Talking is an imagined response to these real events. Eight women, all illiterate, without any knowledge of the world outside their colony and unable even to speak the language of the country they live in, meet secretly in a hayloft with the intention of making a decision about how to protect themselves and their daughters from future harm. They have two days to make a plan, while the men of the colony are away in the city attempting to raise enough money to bail out the rapists (not ghosts as it turns out but local men) and bring them home.

How should we live? How should we love? How should we treat one another? How should we organise our societies? These are questions the women in Women Talking ask one another—and Miriam Toews makes them the questions we must all ask ourselves.

Critic Reviews

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, Twitter
Critic Reviews

What a beautiful thing – thoughtful but red-blooded with a cast of powerful personalities, and every word from them so deeply felt. It's a considerable achievement to have written so sensitively and yet so compellingly about such brutal crimes. It's a novel for the times.

Lisa McInerney
Critic Reviews

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
Critic Reviews

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
Critic Reviews

Women Talking is less an indignant manifesto about sexual trauma, or a speculative celebration of female empowerment than it is a confession of violence as something stitched into the fabric of every community, and an exploration of what it means to claim communal thought—even disagreement itself—as an inalienable human right.

Leslie Jamison