RaveThe CutThe extent of the crimes and their aftermath is unveiled in calm, unadorned language, somehow still lively and familiar as a hummingbird ... I love Miriam Toews; I don’t know how to disguise my stupid love for her with an attempt to sound smart, so I won’t even try. I believe she’s the best writer of our time ... This isn’t the first time Toews has written from a male perspective. Swing Low published almost 20 years ago, is a memoir of sorts, written in her father’s voice after his death ... It took me a little while to guess at a formal link between the two, to see these narrative choices as a way of witnessing the pain that runs throughout both books ... The novel’s humor is a welcome counter to its brutality, but it’s also a testament to a complex and ever-present pain. Toews has a canny ability to depict pain by stepping to the side ... She’s somehow able to communicate the simplest and most complex aspect of being alive: two conflicting things existing at once.