Miriam and Me

My high school bestie Deb Fast was at the launch of my novel Sixties Girl and it was her idea I take a photo with Miriam Toews.

Deb and I both grew up in Steinbach just like Miriam Toews did. Miriam has become one of Canada’s most well-known and celebrated writers.

I would never have thought to take a picture that included the large photo of Miriam on the wall above the door at McNally Robinson Booksellers where my launch was held. Thanks, Deb for the idea!

And while I’m at it I want to add some more photos from my launch that didn’t make it into the initial post I did about the event.

Here I am at my launch with three dear friends, all former teaching colleagues of mine. We’ve been getting together on a regular basis for over a decade and call ourselves the T-4s. How lucky I am to have them in my corner for all of life’s ups and downs. And how lucky I was to have them at my launch.

There were quite a few people at the launch from my family at Bethel Mennonite Church. Helen who is in the photo with me was probably the most senior. Helen was a friend of my parents and I was so appreciative that she and her daughter attended the launch of Sixties Girl.

I was delighted that Jane came to the launch with her Grandma Marie who is a good friend of mine. Jane had sent me a lovely letter about how much she had enjoyed Lost on the Prairie my first novel. So it was great to have her at the launch of my second novel.

Harriet Zaidman who is the latest winner of the Geoffrey Bilson Award for historical fiction for her book Second Chances interviewed me at the launch of my first book Lost on the Prairie. It was so nice of her to come to wish me well at the launch of my second novel.

So many people have commented since my launch about what a wonderful job Colleen Nelson did interviewing me. I agree. I can’t thank her enough for her part in the evening.

Colleen told me that she didn’t know when she’d had so much fun at a launch. I had fun too thanks to her great questions and genuine interest in my book.

When I look at photos like this that show a cross-section of some of the crowd that filled the seats at McNally’s for the launch I realize there were many people there that I never had a chance to talk to or thank for coming.

I am so grateful for everyone who came and hope you know how much I appreciated your support even if I didn’t have a chance to express my gratitude in person to you.

If you haven’t already had a chance to watch my launch you can do that here.

If you’d like to buy Sixties Girl you can do that at McNally Robinson Booksellers, The Steinbach Heritage Museum Gift Shop, on Amazon, at Indigo and on Barnes and Noble.

Interestingly Steinbach author Andrew Unger has just written a piece about Steinbach authors that includes mention of both Miriam Toews and me. It includes an interesting list of authors who have roots in my hometown.

Other posts………..

Listening to a Talented Woman Talk About Women Talking

A Miriam Toews Sighting in Costa Rica

Elvira’s Mantra


Filed under Sixties Girl

5 responses to “Miriam and Me

  1. Is the ‘Helen’ in that picture Helen Rempel? One of her other daughters attends my church here in Edmonton. I remember Helen and Art well from when I attended Bethel. Another of their daughters is married to Byron Rempel-Burkholder who was our pastor at Faith Mennonite (that church closed) for some time.
    Isn’t playing the Mennonite game fun?


    • That’s the one! And yes her daughter Melita is married to Byron who was my long time editor at Rejoice Magazine and actually Helen’s daughter Theresa who works for the Canadian Food Grains Bank lives in my building. I believe the daughter who lives in Alberta is Janet. Helen was a sister to my uncle Art Wiens. The Mennonite game can be fun! If I listed all my connections to Helen this note would be very long.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You had a great crowd!!! Congratulations.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Robert Way

    Good morning MaryLou. the helping link you provided in your blog unfortunately takes one to a picture of your book launch but then brings up n successive tries random other Youtube videos, not your book launch of 60s Girl.


    • Dear Robert,
      I tried the link and it works. If you press the play or the forward buttons it does go to the next video. But if you move the marker along the red line so you are a little further into the video the launch does begin. The picture is just a placeholder at the beginning. Thanks.


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