Skip to content


Miriam Toews is the author of seven novels and one work of nonfiction. She won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize twice for her novels The Flying Troutmans and All My Puny Sorrows. Toews has also won a Governor General’s Literary Award, the Libris Award, and the Writers’ Trust Engel Findley Award. In 2016, she was named the second recipient of the Writers’ Trust Fellowship. Originally from Steinbach, Manitoba, Toews now lives in Toronto.


Miriam Toews, Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize finalist

Award History

Jury Citation

"Miriam Toews does not disappoint with her latest outing. Fight Night is a novel well-conceived and executed with prose that is powerful and subtle in equal measure — the weight of a lightly crafted sentence will, after a second’s suspension, come back with a punch. We’re given a unique and quirky take on the world through the eyes of precocious nine-year-old Swiv. Her observations, sometime hilarious, sometimes poignant, illustrate the lives of her mother and grandmother with a careful balance of wit, irony, dark humour, and philosophical musings. Fight Night is a thoughtful and thoroughly enjoyable read about women and girls navigating the world together."

—2021 Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize Jury (Rebecca Fisseha, Michelle Good, and Steven Price)

2014 Winner

Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
for All My Puny Sorrows

Jury Citation

“In All My Puny Sorrows Miriam Toews manages to marry humour and grief so expertly that the most unbearable sadness is tempered by laughter and can therefore be borne. Yoli and Elf, the two sisters at the heart of the novel, are on opposite sides of a question about whether to live or die, but the love and compassion between them never falters. Toews, a dazzling literary alchemist who manages to summon all the joyous and heart-breaking humanity of her characters, has produced a work of astonishing depth. Reading it is an unforgettable experience.” — 2014 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Jury (Neil Bissoondath, Helen Humphreys, and George Murray)

Jury Citation

“Miriam Toews is a terrifically good storyteller — engaging, tender and funny. The narrator in a Miriam Toews novel implicates us with her immediacy. She lives next door, she’s removed all the curtains, and we catch huge emotional glimpses of her life until, suddenly, she slips the curtains back on and we become the voyeurs, insistent on knowing more. She invites us onto her porch-swing, the poised, smart-aleck cousin whispering heartbreaking secrets in our ear and we don’t want her to stop. The teeter-totter of emotions she evokes is astounding, from the humorous to the melancholic and back again until laughter and sadness seep into one another. The ease of Toews’s writing is beguiling. Her stories are about loss and longing — characters stretching for anywhere else but here, and, all the while, looking for love. And approximations of happiness.”
— 2010 Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award (David Bergen, Michael Winter, Eleanor Wachtel)

2008 Winner

Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
for The Flying Troutmans

Jury Citation

The Flying Troutmans is a love song to young people trying to navigate the volcanic world of adult emotions. Every detail of Miriam Toews young heroes’ behavior rings startlingly true and the dialogue is pitch perfect. The premise of the book is sad, yet its execution is filled to the brim with hilarity and joy. Toews captures the rawness of teenagers’ personalities—their fledging attempts at brilliance, their hysterical naivete, and their troubled longings. ” —2008 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Jury (Lawrence Hill, Annabel Lyon, and Heather O’Neill)

Works recognized by WT

All My Puny Sorrows

A Boy of Good Breeding

A Complicated Kindness

Irma Voth

Summer of My Amazing Luck

Swing Low: A Life