CBC Books summer 2014 reading list: All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

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What would you do if your sister asked you to help her commit suicide? That's the painful question around which All My Puny Sorrows is framed. Elfreida, a successful concert pianist, asks her younger sister Yolandi, to help her commit suicide. This is a novel about sisters, families, growing older and what it means to love and let go.


Watch Miriam Toews discuss All My Puny Sorrows on Q:


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"Our house was taken away on the back of a truck one afternoon in the summer of 1979. My parents and my older sister and I stood in the middle of the street and watched it disappear, a low-slung bungalow made of wood and brick and plaster slowly making its way down First Street, past the A&W and the deluxe bowling lanes and out on the number twelve highway, where we eventually lost sight of it. I can still see it, said my sister Elfrieda repeatedly, until finally she couldn't. I can still see it, I can still see it. I can still ... Okay, nope, it's gone, she said."

Miriam Toews, All My Puny Sorrows




The ultimate summer 2014 reading list: