Finalist for the 2017 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.
2017 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.
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“I Am a Truck is a mystery of considerable depth. And it is also very funny.” – Atlantic Books Today
“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
“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