Miriam Toews’s Women Talking: A Call For Artistic Prophethood

Martin W. Mittelstadt


Prophets typically speak from the margins. They tend not to be welcomed by the establishment. Such is the case with Canadian Mennonite novelist Miriam Toews. In her most recent novel, Women Talking, Toews produces a dark story of Mennonite women on a Bolivian colony who were brutally raped by fellow members of the community. The novel, based upon true events, gives a fictive but powerful voice to women not yet able to speak to power and violence. The story details the decision before these women; should they stay in the colony or should they leave? Do they submit to power or move on? Through this Mennonite story, Toews sparks a prophetic impulse for a discussion among Pentecostals. Her voice will enliven current and future artists to speak boldly about violence against women and other forms of injustice.


Pentecostalism, Literature, Mennonites

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