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Fiction Small Town & Rural

I Am a Truck

by (author) Michelle Winters

Invisible Publishing
Initial publish date
Nov 2016
Small Town & Rural, Literary, Contemporary Women
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2016
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2016
    List Price

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Finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize

A tender but lively debut novel about a man, a woman, and their Chevrolet dealer.

Agathe and Réjean Lapointe are about to celebrate their twentieth wedding anniversary when Réjean’s beloved Chevy Silverado is found abandoned at the side of the road-with no trace of Réjean. Agathe handles her grief by fondling the shirts in the Big and Tall department at Hickey’s Family Apparel and carrying on a relationship with a cigarette survey. As her hope dwindles, Agathe falls in with her spirited coworker, Debbie, who teaches Agathe about rock and roll, and with Martin Bureau, the one man who might know the truth about Réjean’s fate. Set against the landscape of rural Acadia, I Am a Truck is a funny and moving tale about the possibilities and impossibilities of love and loyalty.

Scotiabank Giller Prize Jury Citation:
French or English, stick or twist, Chevy or Ford? Michelle Winters has written an original, off-beat novel that explores the gaps between what people are and what they want to be. For a short book I am a Truck is bursting with huge appetites, for love and le rock-and-roll and cheese, for male friendship and takeout tea with the bag left in. Within the novel’s distinctive Acadian setting French and English co-exist like old friends – comfortable, supple to each other’s whims and rhythms, sometimes bickering but always contributing to this fine, very funny, fully-achieved novel about connection and misunderstanding. And trucks.

I Am a Truck is a mystery of considerable depth. And it is also very funny.”Atlantic Books Today

"At once charming, funny, bizarre and highly original with a feel-good ending reminiscent of Thelma and Louise’s iconic finale."Canadian Living

About the author

Michelle Winters is a writer, painter, and translator from Saint John, N.B., living in Toronto. Her written and visual work stretches the limits of the probable, explores the lushness of the industrial, and anthropomorphizes with gay abandon. Her stories have been published in THIS Magazine, Taddle Creek, Dragnet, and Matrix, and she was nominated for the 2011 Journey Prize. I Am a Truck is her debut novel.

Michelle Winters' profile page


  • Short-listed, Scotiabank Giller Prize

Editorial Reviews

“Winters does a lot on the page and packs a great deal of charm into this trim, very human little book… Quirky and fun, I Am a Truck feels like a departure from the typical Giller-nominated fare, and that’s a very good thing. Totally at home despite its smaller stature – both in publishing house and page count – this pick lends something fresh and unexpected to the hallowed list.”Globe and Mail

“I Am a Truck, by New Brunswick writer Michelle Winters, features a Chevy Silverado in a short novel with the feel of a Coen brothers’ film…This is a story about driving, freedom, rock ’n’ roll and the joys of taking control of your own destiny—and destination.”Toronto Star

"At once charming, funny, bizarre and highly original with a feel-good ending reminiscent of Thelma and Louise’s iconic finale, the book is... driven by mystery, emotion and wholly likeable characters."Canadian Living

“This fast-paced, quirky, heart warming and hilarious novel captures the fast and loose crossovers of language and culture that make southeast New Brunswick unique.”Geist

“Winters is an ace at slyly building tension; after a couple chapters we find ourselves in the middle of a detective story, wrapped in a love story, wrapped in a portrait of a part of French Canada that is unlike any other region in the country.”Matrix Magazine

“Tightly constructed but character-driven, Michelle Winters’ I Am a Truck is a remarkably satisfying read. For a jury who clearly appreciates the art of driving off-road, this fresh voice deserved a nod of recognition and it could even snag a spot in the parking lot of the [Giller Prize] shortlist.”—Buried in Print

"Highly original, laced with wit and love, and it might just be the strangest, yet most feel-good, story I’ve read all year."—Reading Matters

"I fell in love with this short book from the outset and read it slowly because I didn't want it to end."—Booklog for Charlotte

I Am a Truck is a mystery of considerable depth. And it is also very funny.”Atlantic Books Today

"It’s snappy, it bounces along, it’s witty without being unserious, it’s strange without being absurd, it’s human without being cloying and it is genuinely moving despite its plotty, thrillery, conceit and literary style… I Am a Truck is a cracking work of fiction."—Triumph of the Now

“The wonder-packed drama of I Am a Truck plays itself out in the impossible intersection of a Coen brothers movie, a James M. Cain novel and a Looney Tunes feature. Michelle Winters has created a fresh novel overflowing with mystery, emotional complexity and a new and welcome breed of goofy charm.”—Stuart Ross, author of Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew


User Reviews

Odd short novel with strong characterization

So this was an exceedingly odd read. If strange books are your jam, definitely pick it up. It's a short (but not necessarily quick) read set . . . actually, I'm not even sure. In a French-speaking small town and rural area somewhere in Canada. It's the most Francophone book in English I've ever read, with quite a bit of untranslated dialogue that dovetails nicely with telling details for a remarkable sense of place. I took quite a bit of French in school and could make out the gist of most of the comments - no idea if they'd be a barrier to someone completely unfamiliar with the language or not. I think you get most of it from context anyways? In terms of characters, the perspective is mostly that of a middle-aged stay-at-home wife who loses the husband she's been with since they were teens and starts exploring the idea of a world and identity without him. There's also a bit from the husband's perspective, and the husband's friend.

I think it helps if you look at the book more as a sort of extended short story than a novel. It's a collection of extended character sketches. It portrays quirky, instantly-recognizable personalities that are funny, sad, and at times alarming. It's a sympathetic portrayal, but also awkward in its intimacy. The ending is abrupt and open-ended. I didn't appreciate it, but some might, depending on how you take the message it sends. It's very literary, and the book does exhibit some cohesiveness in that its form follows its content almost too neatly. So yeah, if you're into strange, literary Canadian writing, pick up this lightweight, award-winning paperback and explore the stubbornly odd world of rural Francophone Canadiana.

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