Stage Plays
Grandmother, Laughing
What Readers Say:

"Huy yuy yuy, that was a good read! I love Grandmother, Laughing. Thank you for imagining that world -- the landscapes, the characters, the atmosphere of love -- and gifting it your readers."

-Lois Braun, author of The Penance Drummer

"I finished your book this week, Armin. A great read, so much poetry in this one. No one has a voice like yours."

-Elizabeth Falk

"Just finished the novel. I enjoyed it! Very subtle in its portrayal of Mennonite feelings. Bravo!"

-Diane Driedger, author of Red With Living

"Book is awesome reading. Thank you, Armin."

-Dorothy Friesen, author of Stormy Ties

"This is a great read!"

-Mary Neufeld, author of Prairie Pilgrim

"I finished the book and really enjoyed it. I love your style of writing. I have to say one of my favourite parts was the 'By us we don't smear double.' I found that so funny, for some reason. Could just picture it.

-Margaret McKee

"I finished reading Grandmother, Laughing on Saturday and have been letting images and moments from it drift around inside me for the past couple of days. It's a great read, Armin. Congratulations. I was also reminded of the incredible power of the prairie itself. It's been far too long since I have spent time wandering in a field and I am now determined to get myself some country time next summer. Thanks for provoking those memories for me. "

-Kim McCaw, director of The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz

"As you know, I loved Grandmother, Laughing and recently sent a copy to a friend in South Africa. She is Afrikaans and finds the low Dutch reminiscent of her mother tongue and the humour very much to her taste."

- Meira Cook, author of Once More With Feeling

"I have just finished reading your wonderful novel. Tears (of sadness and laughter) evoked by the absolutely beautiful (surprise) ending…I was, from start to finish, engaged by all of the evocative language, and your way with words (how many exquisite phrases did I underline?), the (Mennonite) rural/farming lifestyle, the engaging Biblical references, the perspective on music-as-gift, the epic story and, of course, the characters. I'll say that I haven't enjoyed a novel as much as I did "Grandmother Laughing" in a long time."

-Bruce Sarbit, playwright, All or Nothing

"Finished Armin Wiebe's wonderful new book late last night. It resonates with me on so many levels: deep nostalgia for the landscape of my childhood, the complicated catharsis of music, fences built around (and within) families, and how our unique histories keep bubbling up in the present. What a pleasure to return to Gutenthal. Thank you for writing it! Felt like sinking into a warm bath to be immersed in that world again. I also laughered myself silly, in the scene when Obrum first comes for faspa -- I had to put the book down repeatedly to go blow my nose and try to pull myself together, only to pick it up and start laughing again."

-Jeremy Hiebert

"I'm almost finished reading your book and wanted to tell you how much I am enjoying it. It's like an intricately crafted doily, beautiful and functional at the same time, something to be treasured. You have so much love for these characters, which makes the reader love them too--love everyone, each other, just a little more. You are, and always will be, an exceptional storyteller!"

-Janine Tschunky, of Prairie Fire

"Hello Armin, I am sitting in my sunroom (my version of the lawnswing), having just finished Grandmother, Laughing. My goodness, it is masterful. You have captured Susch's deepest thoughts and feelings, you take me to southern Manitoba in the 1920s and to Russia in the revolution. It is wry, it is poignant, it is wonderful. Thank you, thank you. Wow. I have to go for a walk now to let it all sink in. The sidewalks aren't the prairies, but with the pictures you painted, I can imagine."

-Harriet Zaidman, author of Benny's Dream Horse

"A very odd book indeed, but one I couldn't put down…very funny, characters beautifully developed, plot intriguing. The evocative descriptions of the prairie landscape alone make this well worth reading. There's also a whole mystical element of ancestors and music that adds a rich dimension to the earthy "darp"(village) setting. Armin Wiebe leans heavily on the Low German, both for vocabulary and syntax, but often gives the translation quite seamlessly in the text."

-Dianne Hildebrand, Okanagan Regional Library

"Hi Armin - finished the book while in Mexico and I just wanted to say thanks for writing it. The final few chapters really moved me especially. Wishing lots of recognition for you."

-Jeff Eyamie, author of No Escape from Greatness

"I like the flowery, colourful language. Enjoyed the book."

-Marien Breen

"I am a huge fan of Grandmother, Laughing! What a beautiful novel! Thank you for writing it."

-Giulia De Gasperi, Radici Translation and Wordcraft Ltd.

"I've been wanting to tell you how much I enjoyed Grandmother Laughing. But I still smear twice!"

-Faith Johnston, author of The Only Man in The World

Four Stars! Amazon.ca

"We chose this book as one of our Book Club books this year. Anyone who belongs to a book club knows that getting together and discussing a book or an author is a terrific way to answer questions and expand your knowledge of what topics, themes, history, character traits etc are in the story. This was one of those books. The book was a look into Mennonite history and culture, personal relationships, sadness and so much more. Low German is used throughout the book very effectively. Context helped you read and understand it. This was a thoroughly enjoyable read and a great Book Club Book."

- pcake

Five Stars! Amazon.ca

"Another great novel by Armin Wiebe in which he explores more of the story of Susch and Obrum Kehler, already familiar from The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz and some of the stories from Armin's Shorts. The characters draw us in, and we become entangled in the web of relationships. The first person narrative switches between Koadel and Susch, and it is not until later in the book that we figure out the timelines and relationships. This book rewards us in so many ways and bears rereading as well."

- P on I

"Just finished reading it last evening. ....wished it was one of those thick  tomes (schinkens ) that take longer to read!  Loved it!  Enjoyed the characterizations of the 3 main characters,  descriptions of the Prairie and the emotional /spiritual effect of walking in the Prairie . I guess I'm a "Prairie girl " myself so it connects.  But then so did the inclusion of music and its reverberation in the lives of the characters. Also enjoyed the nuances on so many different levels, though I'm sure  I  missed  lots.  Would be good to read it again soon. 
Right now I'm still letting the characters play around in my mind,  while I watch from the side!" 

- Rosalie Loeppky

Five Stars! Amazon.com

"Wiebe's best book. Beautifully crafted and surprising."

-Daniel S. Cruz
Read a review of Grandmother, Laughing.