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Biography & Autobiography Personal Memoirs

The Truth About Luck

What I Learned on My Road Trip with Grandma

by (author) Iain Reid

House of Anansi Press Inc
Initial publish date
Mar 2013
Personal Memoirs
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2013
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2013
    List Price

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Selected for The Globe 100 Books in 2013.

In The Truth about Luck, Iain Reid, author of the highly popular coming-of-age memoir One Bird's Choice, accompanies his grandmother on a five-day vacation -- which turns out to be a "staycation" at his basement apartment in Kingston. While the twenty-eight-year-old writer is at the beginning of his adult life, his ninety-two-year-old grandmother is nearing the end of hers. Between escorting his grandma to local attractions and restaurants, the two exchange memories and she begins to reveal details of her inspiring life story.

Told with subtlety, humour, and heart, this delightful comic memoir reflects on family connections; how we experience adversity, the passage of time, and aging; and most importantly what it truly means to feel lucky.

About the author

Iain Reid is the author of two critically acclaimed, award-winning books of nonfiction; One Bird's Choice and The Truth About Luck, which was selected by The Globe and Mail as one of the best books of 2013. Reid’s essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in a variety of publications throughout North America. In 2015, he was the recipient of the prestigious RBC Taylor Emerging Writer award. Reid is a graduate of Queen's University, where he studied history, English literature, and philosophy. I’m Thinking of Ending Things is his first novel.

Iain Reid's profile page


  • Commended, Globe and Mail Top 100 Book

Editorial Reviews

Iain Reid’s newest book rejoices in this blend of intergenerational familiarity and serendipity... those [familiar with Iain's writing] will recognize his trademarks — his unfussy language, his dry sense of humour, his sincerity.

National Post

Told with charm, wit, and one of the most likeable voices going, Iain Reid’s The Truth About Luck falls somewhere between a slacker Tuesdays with Morrie and an intergenerational version of The Trip, with more sandwiches than scallops. Amid all the comic minutiae emerges a sensitive, thoughtful portrait of a ninety-two year old, as infectiously interested in the world as her grandson becomes with her.

Pasha Malla, author of People Park

Reid’s style is so entertainingly self-conscious, and Grandma is so much the grandma we all ache to have in our lives, that the book sometimes feels like a beautifully rendered little off-Broadway play.

Globe and Mail

A slyly entertaining encounter with the timeless. Is any divide greater than the one between young and old? How do we connect with those who, while still living, come from worlds that are gone? Iain Reid urgently needs to solve this issue, even as he resists that confrontation with all his might. The result is at times soothing, at times disquieting, and persistently likable throughout.

Ben Ryder Howe, author of My Korean Deli

What makes The Truth About Luck memorable is its blend of humour and gravitas... This funny, thoughtful memoir is highly engaging. Reid's interactions with [his grandma] are sometimes awkward, sometimes profound, but always entertaining.

Winnipeg Free Press

Iain Reid continues to mine familial matters with humour and candour in his second book.


... infinitely sweet. This is the sort of memoir that can only work if its main characters are compelling and likable; the nervous, self-deprecating Reid and his sassy, classy grandrna—”the LeBron James of old ladies born pre Depression”—are both. ...The Truth About Luck [is] a fun, light read.


User Reviews

a man and his grandma, set loose in kingston

A humorous memoir of a 28-year-old man on "staycation" with his 92-year-old grandmother. There are cups of tea, walks, and rumination on the nature of family and memory. The book is heartwarming and mildly funny, but I found myself frustrated with the narrator at times.

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