Saturday, August 16, 2014 |
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.
All My Puny Sorrows won the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize in 2014, and was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize the same year.
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.
From All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews ©2014. Published by Alfred A. Knopf.