The Next Chapter·Dog-Eared Reads

Casey Plett will never stop recommending this 2004 novel by Miriam Toews

The 2019 Amazon Canada First Novel Award winner loves re-reading A Complicated Kindness.
Casey Plett is a Winnipeg-born writer and editor. (Sybil Lamb, Vintage Canada)

This interview originally aired on Feb. 1, 2020.

Casey Plett is a Manitoba-born and Ontario-based author. In 2019, Plett's debut novel Little Fish won the Firecracker Award and the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, a $60,000 prize that goes to the year's best debut novel in Canada.

A book that Plett loves reading over and over again is A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews. The 2004 novel won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction, was a finalist for the Giller Prize and won Canada Reads in 2006, when it was championed by John K. Samson.

"A book that I go back to all the time is the novel A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews. It's a book about a Mennonite teenager in the early 1980s whose family is falling apart. She has troubles with the church and the pastor in the town who's also her uncle.

I can scarcely think of another book that I want to push on people.

"This book ends in such the most heartbreaking, beautiful and hopeful way that I read it over and over again. I cry every time. I can scarcely think of another book that I want to push on people."

Casey Plett's comments have been edited for length and clarity. 

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