Reverberatingwith emotional power, authenticity, and insight, Swing Low isMiriam Toews' daring and deeply affecting memoir ofher father’s struggle with manic depression in a small Mennonite com...more
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In her family memoir Swing Low: A Life, Mennonite author Miriam Toews reconstructs the life and death of her father. It is a beautifully written book, yet one dealing with difficult subject matter: mental illness and suicide. Her memoir of her father’s life touches upon the ties of family and community, and the struggle between faith and despair.
Mel Toews (Miriam’s father) was a res ...more
The day before his suicide his daughter, Miriam, asked him what he was thinking. His answ ...more
The first few chapters confused me a bit. They were circular and diffi ...more
Let me just say … I did not enjoy Irma Voth – the fiction novel that Miriam Toews wrote and I reviewed just a few weeks ago. So it was with some trepidation that I picked Swing Low up off my shelf.
I was blown away.
Seriously, this book was nothing at all like Irma Voth. It was clear, concise, and a beautiful tribute to her father. Miriam’s voice, as she speaks from her father’s point of view, is crystal clear, heart-breaking and filled with love. I never once got the se ...more
He was such an accomplished school teacher and well loved and respected as a pillar of a small Mennonite community in Manitoba.
Miriam is writing her father, Mel's life as she imagines he would have told it. Her writing is graceful, respectful and compassionate. It is a moving account of the awful struggles of a terrible illnes ...more
Basically, the book is a recounting of Mel Toews' life, written by his daughter, but from his point of view. It is a graceful story of growing up, dating, getting married, becoming a school teacher, and having kids all in a small, conservative Mennonite town. But it is so much more than that!
Mel suffers from bipolar disorder (then called manic depression). In the present of the book, h ...more
The subject matter of this memoir is a serious one. The author writes about the life of her father, Mel Toews, who was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder as a young man, and in spite of this disability, went on to become a respected and well loved elementary schoolteacher, father and member of the Mennonite Church in Steinbach, Manitoba.
Mel seemed to be able to channel his mania into being a creative schoolteacher, ...more
Er erzählt von seinen Krankenhausaufenthalten mit seinen Schwestern und Ärzten und den anderen Patienten ebenso ...more
The resulting portrait is of a deeply complex man: a Mennonite husband, father, teacher and friend who adored his job and family but struggled daily with bipolar disorder ...more
Mel Toews is much loved by his family and friends. He is also a beloved and popular teacher, as well as a devout member of his Mennonite community. From her father's viewpoint, we are able to see and feel depression and bipolar struggles. We experience his daily battle to balance illness with reality. ...more
Toews studied at the University of Manitoba and the University of King's College in Halifax, and has also worked as a freelance newspaper and radio journalist. Her non-fiction book "Swing Low: A Life" was a memoir of her father, a vi ...more