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UTSC hosts first writer-in-residence

Miriam Toews

Miriam Toews is giving readings, lectures and workshops—and spending time on her own writing.

Award-winning Canadian novelist Miriam Toews became UTSC’s inaugural writer-in-residence this semester.

Toews has been visiting classes, facilitating workshops, giving readings and consulting with students on manuscripts-in-progress. Just as important, she has dedicated time for her own creative work.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time so far at UTSC,” says Toews, the author of five novels and one book of non-fiction. “It’s always fun and inspiring to meet students and to talk about writing, but to have an opportunity to work on some of my own writing has also been wonderful.”

Toews is one of Canada’s most gifted and best-loved storytellers. Her 2004 novel A Complicated Kindness, about a teenage girl living with her father in a small Mennonite community, earned Toews the Governor General’s Award for English fiction. She has also won several other prestigious literary awards and last year was recognized by her home province with the Order of Manitoba.

Toews’s appointment comes at an exciting time for UTSC’s Department of English. Last fall the department launched its new minor in creative writing, one of only a handful of undergraduate creative writing programs in Canada.

“Our creative writing program serves a vibrant community of writers on campus,” says Alice Maurice, acting chair of the department. “To have someone of Ms. Toews’s calibre in our midst is a fantastic opportunity for our students, for the department, and for the entire campus.”