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What do you do when your mom is Miriam Toes?

MGeorgia Taves idway Debut novel, Hey, I’m luckyThe main character, Bobby, has just finished a tough stint in rehabilitation for alcoholism. Evicted from a bed bug-infested apartment, she wanders the streets of Toronto along a small carry-on suitcase. At her desperate moment, she may provide her with a place to sleep for her night, even though she is uncomfortable with what such an arrangement may take on her old flames. Is called. As she heads for her rendezvous, she thinks of the impressions she might give to her passers-by. She said, “I wish I seemed to leave intentionally like a young traveler on an adventure on the way to the airport.”

first half Good luck It is set in a downtown Toronto facility where Bobby spends 30 days working on the program and harmonizing with other participants. In the second half, she pays attention to maintaining a well-tuned drinking facade for her colleagues and family while dodging the homeless. Bobby’s nervous and relentless scrutiny of how others perceive her is a recurring concern for the novel, but what she’s trying to hide outside is such frank and amazing. The page is poured with details (malicious inner confession, hallucinatory memories of past trauma). Readers may wonder how the writer perceived such nuances in the first place.

Born in 1990, Georgia is the daughter of internationally active Canadian novelist Miriam Toews. Complex tenderness, All my little sadness And recently, he was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Night of the battle.. A movie version of Miriam’s 2018 novel by Sarah Polley later this year, Woman talkingReleased by Orion Pictures and Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B, starring Frances McDormand, Rooney Mara and Jessie Buckley.

This all means that Georgia’s fast-growing literary career is likely to get more attention than most young writers are accustomed to. This is always the case when someone’s famous child steps into her parent’s field, but Georgia doesn’t want to hide or enjoy her family ties.She knows that when it comes to promoting her, she’s crazy about questions about her connections. Good luck, Released on May 31st. She talks about her relationship with her mother. Miriam has access to advice and mentorship, which undoubtedly has had a myriad of influences on Georgia’s writing, but she hasn’t provided detailed notes or discussed technical writing. Technique. Her feedback to Georgia is impressive, intuitive and honest. “We don’t really talk about writing,” says Georgia, “yes, except to make sure it’s a tough job and it’s an important job.”

Georgia grew up in Winnipeg and moved to Toronto in 2009. I met her five years ago through a partner who knew her brother Owen in Georgia, through the Winnipeg activist community. A few months ago in the winter of 2022, I visited Georgia and Miriam in an elegant home in downtown Toronto. Good luck Released. We were all sitting in a sitting living room with a high ceiling. Miriam was sitting in a luxurious reclining chair on my left side. Georgia had baby books scattered on the sofa opposite me. Toewses live in multi-generational households. Georgia and its partner Mark Boucher occupy the top floor of the house with her children, and her eighties grandmother in Georgia, Elvira Toews, occupy the main floor of the house. (It was Elvira’s space). We were sitting). Miriam and her partner Eric Rutherford live in a trail house behind the property.

Georgia and Miriam have similar self-blame A sense of humor characterized by the delivery of the same deadpan. Their dynamics are casual yet attentive. They never talk to each other and listen eagerly to what each other is saying. They seem to be building each other’s thoughts as easily as caring for a young Georgian son. As the conversation shifts to one of their careers, the other instinctively reaches for a pacifier or board book to occupy the baby.

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In this family, writing is long and deep. Miriam’s sister Marjorie wrote poetry and fiction, and their father wrote about Canadian politics and history. Classroom comments.. He also created placemats for children covered in historical facts and cartoons. As a kid, Miriam remembers driving his Manitoba with him and dropping the placemat boxes into various restaurants.

She wasn’t surprised when Georgia started writing when she was young. “She had her older friend who knew how to write cursive quickly,” says Miriam. “They were in Georgia’s bedroom, she walked around and dictated stories to her friends. These long and epic stories go back in time with changes in tense and tone. There is fear and humor, They filled up their notes. I thought, “Hey, she’s a writer. So do your best.” “

After graduating from high school, Georgia studied comedy writing and performance at Hamburg College in Toronto, trying to become a stand-up comedian. Her first sentence, which Georgia presented to her mother for input, was a sketch of a Foley artist using household items to record the sound effects of an experimental film. In her early twenties, she worked as a writing assistant for a Canadian police drama. Rookie blueAlthough none of her pitches went through the development stage.

Miriam knew her daughter was trying to write like someone else. “She was very kind,” says Georgia. “I had a rough first draft.”

Her serious advance into fiction happened after a significant event in her life happened: she checked herself for alcoholic rehab.of Good luck, Georgia has embarked on a new approach to the story of recovery. She sees movies and literature in which troubled characters ultimately find salvation as a hollow way of writing to pamper the reader, rather than tackling some basic truths about being. She said, “Many of the traditional stories include addicts experiencing suffering, detoxification, violence, and such sensational things. She wanted to show where the work was. For real teeth. “Her novel records everyday life in a 30-day program. Strictly enforced curfew. Rebuke for possession of smuggled goods (if found in craft scissors for late-night haircuts) One character is wrapped around the knuckle).

In writing the book, Georgia followed the advice Miriam had given her earlier: write about the best known. Miriam is known for novels that blur the distinction between reality and man-made, such as books inspired by the suicides of her father and her sister, and the Manitoba Mennonite community in which she grew up. “For me, writing an autobiographical novel is not a conscious choice,” says Miriam. “You just start writing. It’s craft. It takes raw materials and shapes it into the world. It’s always with the reader in mind. It’s an act of friendship, reaching out and feeling lonely. It is an act of not being. “

I think this kind of wisdom about writing from the bottom of my heart may only be inherited in as close a relationship as a mother and daughter. Mentoring between unrelated writers often turns out to be elusive or unstable. The mentor gets busy and the mentee has a hard time asking for her help. Informal relationships can often be difficult to withstand the pressures of everyday life. Perhaps the kinship between Georgia and Miriam has protected them from these stumbling blocks. It seems that a more indirect form of mentorship has developed among them, born of mutual tastes and connections, rather than professional urgency.

“We have never had a relationship where we sat down and worked on my writing,” Georgia repeats. Instead, Miriam offers a perspective that no one else can. She is known as Georgia throughout her life. She knew, for example, that her daughter was trying to write like someone else. “She was very kind,” says Georgia. “Because I had a really rough first draft.”

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Miriam fell into a similar trap early in her career, trying to write like Toni Morrison, who greedily ate a book. She soon realized that trying to write in her other voice was not only a mistake that endangered her career, but also a waste of effort. Miriam also warned her daughter not to write down her things to protect herself. “Suffering can be horribly beautiful,” says Miriam. Especially when combined with “Shadow of Hope”.

Many of Miriam’s literary works have tackled dark and difficult subjects. In her latest novel, Night of the battle, She made a light touch. This book celebrates her mother, Elvira. Elvira is the most hopeful and resilient person she has ever known. “What happened in our family’s life-mental illness, suicide, addiction-my grandchildren will learn these things,” she says. “They didn’t feel the curse of heredity because I wanted to tell them another story. There are other things happening in our family as well.”

There are rumors that Night of the battle This is Miriam’s last novel.recently New Yorker The work portrays the illusion that she will leave writing behind her forever. When we met, she decided to stop publishing her and focus on becoming a full-time grandmother for her two children in Georgia and Owen’s two children in Winnipeg. was. “It’s a great time in my life,” she says, bouncing her grandson on her knees.

Miriam began her career while struggling to raise a young child. She sneaks away to write a piece of her thoughts on a piece of paper as much as possible, finds the focus of the laser when the kids are doing day care, avoids dishes, laundry, and phone calls, and she I worked in a world that is revitalizing. “I haven’t done as much work as my child did when he was young,” she says.

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Meanwhile, Georgia wrote and edited Good luck In the course of her two pregnancies, her husband, the filmmaker, admits that she took care of her children after work and examined the time needed to meet the deadline. The pressure of her family life seemed to help Georgia as well as her mother. “The fear of losing time was a big motivation to end it,” she says.

While writing Good luckGeorgia was easily worried that people might use rigorous subject matter to criticize parenting. “I didn’t want people to think I was an alcoholic mother,” says Georgia. In the end, she decided to follow Miriam’s leadership and devote herself to her idea that writing is an act of friendship. “I believe there is this relationship with readers who understand that I’m not talking about me,” she says.

In the scene near the end of the book, Bobby retreats to the shower when an unwanted guest crashes her room in the hostel where she is staying. She imagines being attacked with a knife like a horror movie. “The obituary didn’t scare me enough, or the compliment my family would give at my funeral,” she says. “Everyone would have assumed that my death was related to my dubious past, and I died an addict in everyone’s mind, despite being stone-cold and calm. I did. “

The passage is a window to Bobby’s fragile state of mind, guiding a person to swirl through a winding path of suspicion and anxiety. Georgia describes writing her novel as a cure, the second step towards her own recovery. “She isn’t afraid, so I got inspiration from her mother,” she says. “She always tells her truth through fiction, and I think the world is better for her novel. Her writing is the way she survives, And writing is the way I can survive. “



What do you do when your mom is Miriam Toes?

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