Joe Enns' Reading Recommendation:
Fight Night by Miriam Toews
Miriam Toews is one of my all-time favourite Canadian authors. Maybe because of our shared Mennonite heritage, but also because of her vivid characters and authentic voice. I was nervous to read Fight Night, I feared it would not live up to her previous books that I loved such as All My Puny Sorrows or A Complicated Kindness, but I was not disappointed.
I’m a slow reader and it can sometimes take me over a week to finish a novel, but I read Fight Night in two days. Fight Night is immersive, engaging, and interesting. I was curious about the characters’ backstories, which are drawn out slowly right to the end. And I was concerned for Swiv, the protagonist, as she struggles to make sense of the changes in her family. There’s plenty of tension and unanswered questions mixed with humor and an underlying sense of heartbreaking trauma.
Joe Enns is a writer, painter, and fisheries biologist on Vancouver Island. His works have appeared in Portal Magazine and The Link, and short-listed for FreeFall’s 2020 Prose and Poetry Contest. His poetry is featured in the new autumn issue of The Fiddlehead. Joe has a BSc in Ecological Restoration and is finishing a BA in Creative Writing at Vancouver Island University.