A Complicated Kindness

Added September 22, 2010
  • A Complicated Kindness
  • Miriam Toews
  • Knopf, Canada, 2004

a-complicated-kindness-front_-cover_ This is the true first edition of Miriam Toews masterpiece, A Complicated Kindness. It was nominated for the 2004 Giller Prize and won the 2004 Governor General’s Award for fiction. It also won the 2006 CBC Canada Reads competition. It spent over a year on the Canadian bestseller lists.

Written in the form of a memoir, it is about a girl longing to leave her oppressive Manitoba Mennonite community to look for her excommunicated family, starting her search in New York City. The town in the story is generally thought to be a fictionalized version of the author’s hometown.

A Complicated Kindness is an emotional roller coaster ride.

This is definitely one of my favourite novels; one which stands up to multiple readings. a-complicated-kindness-signature

This signed copy is in fine/fine condition. On AbeBooks today, signed true firsts go for between $125 and $240. The higher priced copies have the date and/or a line from the novel written in by the author. Later printings, or copies with minor condition issues, can be found for as low as $40.

a-complicated-kindness-copy_ Apparently, there were only 3500 copies in the first print run, a low number even by Canadian standards. There are very few signed true first editions listed on-line at any given time. Note that the copyright page to the left states First Edition. The number 1 on the number line indicates a first printing.

The way I see it, this is a modern classic that has an excellent chance of increasing in value over time.

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