Swing Low

Swing Low

A Life

eBook - 2010
Average Rating:
Rate this:
After her father took his own life in 1998, Miriam Toews decided to face her confusion and pain straight on. In writing her father's memoir, she was motivated by two primary goals: For her own sake, she needed to understand, or at least accept, her father's final decision. For her father's sake, she needed to honour him, to elucidate his life and to demonstrate its worth. Apart from its brief prologue and epilogue, Swing Low is written entirely from Mel Toews's perspective. Miriam Toews has her father tell his story from bed as he waits in a Steinbach hospital to be transferred to a psychiatric facility in Winnipeg. Mel turns to writing to make sense of his condition, to review his life in the hope of seeing it more clearly. He remembers himself as an anxious child, the son of a despondent father and an alcoholic mother, who never once made him feel loved. At seventeen he was diagnosed with manic depression (now known as bipolar disorder).
Publisher: New York : Vintage Canada, 2010
ISBN: 9780307375612
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Sep 20, 2016

As I read the first few pages of this book, I cannot help the tears flowing and my heart sinking......depression, family dysfunctions, addiction and obsession- my past, present and future. Toews writing is so honest and it hurts and haunts!

Jul 25, 2015

It's difficult to understand what depression must be like. One sentence in the book strikes me as very insightful: There are no windows within the dark house of depression through which to see others, only mirrors (p. 179). As I started reading "All My Puny Sorrows", I can see some parallel family stories in Swing Low, and somehow want to know more about Elvira. I wonder if she'll write about her someday.

Jul 19, 2011

A very good book.
Those who suffer from depression, will understand
described suffering. Brings tears.

Goober1950 Jul 03, 2011


Jan 16, 2011

A fictional account of her father's life. He suffered from severe depression and eventually committed suicide. He had a successful life as a teacher, but his depression took a toll on his family. Toews helps us to understand what it was like without attempting to offer solutions.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at SL

To Top