The Flying Troutmans

Miriam Toews' fourth novel revolves around a road trip through the United States. The book won the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize in 2008.

Miriam Toews

Days after being dumped by her boyfriend Marc in Paris — "he was heading off to an ashram and said we could communicate telepathically" — Hattie hears her sister Min has been checked into a psychiatric hospital, and finds herself flying back to Winnipeg to take care of Thebes and Logan, her niece and nephew. Not knowing what else to do, she loads the kids, a cooler and a pile of CDs into their van and they set out on a road trip in search of the children's long-lost father, Cherkis.

In part because no one has any good idea where Cherkis is, the traveling matters more than the destination. On their wayward, eventful journey down to North Dakota and beyond, the Troutmans stay at scary motels, meet helpful hippies and try to ignore the threatening noises coming from under the hood of their van. (From Vintage Canada)

The Flying Troutmans won the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize in 2008.

From the book

Yeah, so things have fallen apart. A few weeks ago I got a collect call from my niece, Thebes, in the middle of the night, asking me to please come back to help with Min. She told me she'd been trying to take care of things but it wasn't working any more. Min was stranded in her bed, hooked on blue torpedoes and convinced that a million silver cars were closing in on her (I didn't know what Thebes meant either), Logan was in trouble at school, something about the disturbing stories he was writing, Thebes was pretending to be Min on the phone with his principal, the house was crumbling around them, the back screen door had blown off in the wind, a family of aggressive mice was living behind the piano, the neighbours were pissed off because of hatchets being thrown into their yard at all hours (again, confusing, something to do with Logan)... basically, things were out of control. And Thebes is only eleven.

From The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews ©2009. Published by Vintage Canada.