Free Press Book Club Featuring Miriam Toews

Monday, September 27, 2021 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm Archived

Online, Youtube,


To help ease some of the isolation-related boredom, the Winnipeg Free Press started a monthly book club which will run completely online and is open to anyone and everyone to join. For the month of September WIWF is partnering with the Free Press and McNally Robinson Booksellers to present Miriam Toews and her new book, Fight Night!

Each month, the Free Press will choose a book and share it on their website, as well as in an email to those who have registered to participate. They will send a couple of follow up notes to check in on your progress and suggest a few discussion topics and questions to think about as you go.

At the end of the month, participants will gather in a livestream book club meeting, this month with literary editor Ben Sigurdson, McNally Robinson’s Chris Hall and Charlene Diehl from the WIWF, as well as the author of the book, Miriam Toews!

You’ll be able to submit questions ahead of time, or drop them into one of the live chat boxes during the meeting. (And don’t worry, the Free Press provide an easy-to-access link to the stream, so all you have to do is click.)

» This Book Club is free, although pre-registration is required. Register online here.

Fight Night

– by Miriam Toews

The beloved author of bestsellers Women Talking, All My Puny Sorrows, and A Complicated Kindness returns with a funny, smart, headlong rush of a novel full of wit, flawless writing, and a tribute to perseverance and love in an unusual family.

Fight Night is told in the unforgettable voice of Swiv, a nine-year-old living in Toronto with her pregnant mother, who is raising Swiv while caring for her own elderly, frail, yet extraordinarily lively mother. When Swiv is expelled from school, Grandma takes on the role of teacher and gives her the task of writing to Swiv’s absent father about life in the household during the last trimester of the pregnancy. In turn, Swiv gives Grandma an assignment: to write a letter to “Gord,” her unborn grandchild (and Swiv’s soon-to-be brother or sister). “You’re a small thing,” Grandma writes to Gord, “and you must learn to fight.”

As Swiv records her thoughts and observations, Fight Night unspools the pain, love, laughter, and above all, will to live a good life across three generations of women in a close-knit family. But it is Swiv’s exasperating, wise and irrepressible Grandma who is at the heart of this novel: someone who knows intimately what it costs to survive in this world, yet has found a way–painfully, joyously, ferociously–to love and fight to the end, on her own terms.


Aug 31

Free Press Book Club pick annoucement

Fight Night, by Miriam Toews

Sept 13


Expect an email from us to check in on your progress. We’ll offer up some discussion questions and other things to think about as you continue reading.

Sept 20

Livestream information email

This email will provide all the information you need for our livestream book club event, including the access link, some information about your viewing options and how you can submit your questions for the author ahead of time. This information will also be posted to our Free Press Book Club Facebook group.

Sept 27

Free Press Book Club meeting

Join our live chat starting at 7 p.m. CDT with special guests Miriam Toews and Charlene Diehl, director of the Winnipeg International Writers Festival.

If you have any questions, please email