“How my bookseller heart leapt when I heard there was a new Miriam Toews novel on the horizon! This tender, funny family portrait, narrated by nine-year-old Swiv in a letter to her estranged father, had me in stitches and in tears and introduced me to a grandmother I won’t soon forget.”
— Tove• Powell's Books
“Miriam Toews insightfully & tenderly captures the dynamics between precocious eight-year-old, Swiv, and her tenacious, affectionate grandmother whose care she falls into when suspended from school for fighting. Told mostly from Swiv's perspective, Fight Night probes at the ferocity of maternal relationships largely by way of the loving and somewhat unconventional wisdom passed down to Swiv from her grandmother. Toews manages to explore many heavy themes like mental illness & spiritual abuse with wit and care. The book is full of exceptionally poignant observations that resist the pull towards sanctimony or excessive sentimentality. I loved every last bit of it.”
— Holly • WORD Bookstores
“Not since Scout Finch have I enjoyed a child protagonist so much. Swiv is precocious, spunky, and hilarious. We hear her family’s story from her viewpoint and from that of her grandmother, Elvira, who is also smart, spunky, and hilarious. They live with Swiv’s mother, a wonderful but less central character. Much of the story of these three strong females focuses on Swiv and Elvira’s eventful trip to visit Elvira’s nephews in California. Their adventures frequently risk Elvira’s health, necessitating the use of her nitroglycerin pills. But she continues ever on with gumption, grit, and laughs. Toews has created absolutely unforgettable characters who made me laugh out loud and brought tears - of appreciation of their tenacity and love and of sorrow. This is a story of profound strength disguised as a delightful romp.”
— Nancy• Raven Book Store
“Narrated by nine-year-old Swiv, this darkly humorous novel highlights the delightful relationship between Swiv, her fighter of a mum, and her fiery Grandma. I laughed out loud throughout the entire audiobook, and Toews' fresh and unique writing really endeared me to the characters.”
— Olivia• Author's Note
“I didn't think I could love a Miriam Toews novel more than I loved All My Puny Sorrows and Women Talking... but I think Fight Night is her best work yet. I adored it and can't wait to sell it. The audiobook is particularly excellent, too!”
— Emilie• East City Bookshop
From the bestselling author of Women Talking and All My Puny Sorrows, a compassionate, darkly humorous, and deeply wise new novel about three generations of women.
“You're a small thing,” Grandma writes, “and you must learn to fight.” Swiv's Grandma, Elvira, has been fighting all her life. From her upbringing in a strict religious community, she has fought those who wanted to take away her joy, her independence, and her spirit. She has fought to make peace with her loved ones when they have chosen to leave her. And now, even as her health fails, Grandma is fighting for her family: for her daughter, partnerless and in the third term of a pregnancy; and for her granddaughter Swiv, a spirited nine-year-old who has been suspended from school. Cramped together in their Toronto home, on the precipice of extraordinary change, Grandma and Swiv undertake a vital new project, setting out to explain their lives in letters they will never send.
Alternating between the exuberant, precocious voice of young Swiv and her irrepressible, tenacious Grandma, Fight Night is a love letter to mothers and grandmothers, and to all the women who are still fighting-painfully, ferociously- for a way to live on their own terms.