SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2021 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE
FINALIST FOR THE 2021 ATWOOD GIBSON WRITERS’ TRUST FICTION PRIZE
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Globe and Mail ● CBC ● USA Today ● NPR
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
An Amazon Editors’ Pick
An Indie Next Pick
An Apple Book of the Month
One of Indigo’s “Top 10 Best Canadian Fiction Books of 2021”
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
When you’re young, every day can be a grand new adventure, and Canadian novelist Miriam Toews expertly captures that sense of excitement in this fun family tale. Nine-year-old Swiv lives in Toronto with her pregnant mother, who’s an actress, and her feisty grandmother. After Swiv’s expelled from school, her grandmother gives her an assignment to write a letter to the father who abandoned them. Meanwhile, Grandma is writing her own letter…to her unborn grandchild. Toews clearly is having an absolute blast writing in the voice of a precocious girl—Swiv’s stream-of-consciousness retelling of everything she sees is witty and endearing. But it’s Swiv’s grandmother who commands centre stage, with her resilient, positive attitude and lust for life. Toews narrates the audiobook with her own daughter, Georgia, making the family dynamics feel incredibly authentic. When the tears come—and they will—they are well earned. Fight Night is a rollicking and moving story about three generations of women.