26@26: Miriam Toews with Claire Cameron

@ - MT
Series Pass $89
Single Ticket $15
@ - MT
Single Ticket: Sept 7 Miriam Toews with Claire Cameron
$14.29 + GST
26@26 Series Pass
$84.76 + GST

26@26, Wordfest's electrifying 13-episode series, kicks off with two queens of ground-breaking Canadian fiction: Claire Cameron and Miriam Toews. Renowned internationally, they are also close friends who will take you deep inside their books and creative processes, in addition to sharing the big ideas, unexpected passions, and wry obsessions that galvanize them. 

The one-hour livestream event on Wordfest.com starts at 7:00 PM MT. (The pre-show begins at 6:50 PM.) The day after the show, we'll email you our unique Digital Doggie Bag, featuring links and extras sparked by the conversation. 

Can't watch live? Want to rewatch? Purchasing the 26@26 series pass or a single ticket gives you exclusive access to this show on demand until midnight on April 30, 2022. 

We’re grateful to Penguin Random House Canada for making it possible for us to connect you with these authors.

About Miriam Toews

Miriam Toews is the author of seven bestselling novels: Women Talking, All My Puny Sorrows, Summer of My Amazing LuckA Boy of Good BreedingA Complicated KindnessThe Flying Troutmans, and Irma Voth, and one work of non-fiction, Swing Low: A Life. She is a winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Libris Award for Fiction Book of the Year, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and the Writers Trust Marian Engel/Timothy Findley Award. She lives in Toronto.

Follow her on Twitter @BranchMiriam.

About Fight Night

Miriam Toews is a genius. Her gigantic mind and heart are singular; her sentence-making powers extraordinary. Living in a time when Toews is writing is a reason to rejoice.” R.O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries

The beloved author of the bestsellers Women TalkingA Complicated Kindness, and All My Puny Sorrows 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 waypainfully, joyously, ferociouslyto love and fight to the end, on her own terms.

About Claire Cameron

Claire Cameron's first novel, The Line Painter, won the Northern Lit Award from the Ontario Library Service and was nominated for an Arthur Ellis Crime Writing Award for best first novel. Her second novel, The Bear, was a number one national bestseller, and was long-listed for the 2014 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Her latest novel, The Last Neanderthal, was a national bestseller and a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Cameron’s writing has appeared in The New York TimesThe Globe and Mail, The New Yorker, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and Salon. She is a staff writer at The Millions. Cameron lives in Toronto with her husband and two sons.

Visit her at claire-cameron.com/ or follow her on Twitter @clairecameron and Instagram @clairecameron123.

About The Last Neanderthal

Devoured it like Girl devoured the meat strips. Could not put it down. Shelagh Rogers

From the author of The Bear, the enthralling story of two women separated by millennia, but linked by an epic journey that will transform them both.

40,000 years in the past, the last family of Neanderthals roams the earth. After a crushingly hard winter, their numbers are low, but Girl, the oldest daughter, is just coming of age and her family is determined to travel to the annual meeting place and find her a mate.

But the unforgiving landscape takes its toll, and Girl is left alone to care for Runt, a foundling of unknown origin. As Girl and Runt face the coming winter storms, Girl realizes she has one final chance to save her people, even if it means sacrificing part of herself.

In the modern day, archaeologist Rosamund Gale works well into her pregnancy, racing to excavate newly found Neanderthal artifacts before her baby comes. Linked across the ages by their shared experience of early motherhood, both stories examine the often taboo corners of women’s lives.

Inspired by the recent discovery that many modern humans have inherited DNA from Neanderthals, acclaimed author Claire Cameron has penned a haunting, suspenseful, and profoundly moving novel that asks us to reconsider what it means to be human.

About Host Shelley Youngblut

Shelley Youngblut is the CEO & Creative Ringleader of Wordfest. She was the recipient of the 2020 Calgary Award for Community Achievement in the Arts and the 2018 Rozsa Award for Arts Leadership. She also won the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Western Magazine Awards. Youngblut was the founding editor of Calgary’s award-winning Swerve magazine and has created magazines for ESPN, Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, Nickelodeon, Western Living, and The Globe and Mail. A former pop-culture correspondent for ABC World News Now and Canada Am, she is now often unconventionally opinionated on CBC Calgary’s Eyeopener.

Follow her on Twitter @youngblut and Instagram @youngblutshelley.


  • Miriam Toews' new novel Fight Night pays tribute to her mother The Globe and Mail
  • Crowded House: Miriam Toews mixes laughter and tragedy, darkness and light in new novel The Calgary Herald
  • A Beloved Canadian Novelist Reckons With Her Mennonite Past The New Yorker
  • Spreading joy is the resistance Miriam Toews’ on family, grief and the things worth fighting for The Star
  • Neanderthals: They're Just Like Us The New York Times

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