cover image Mothertrucker: Finding Joy on the Loneliest Road in America

Mothertrucker: Finding Joy on the Loneliest Road in America

Amy Butcher. Little A, $24.95 (284p) ISBN 978-1-5420-1432-8

In this tender and gripping tale, essayist Butcher (Visiting Hours) recounts her unlikely adventure through Alaska with the country’s only female ice trucker, the late Joy “Mothertrucker” Wiebe. When Joy details her history of surviving domestic violence to Butcher, she explains, “I don’t want you thinking that I’m weak. But I also don’t want you thinking I’ve got some superhuman strength.” This clear-sighted duality creates the central tension of the memoir, as Butcher slowly reveals that, just as her career as a writer and proudly feminist professor took off, so did her relationship with an abusive man. In 2018, in an effort to save her own life, she reached out to Joy—a 50-year-old internet celebrity “who came to me... through the well-lit lens of Instagram”—who, in turn, invited Butcher on a ride through the unpredictable ice and crevasses of “the longest stretch of serviceless road in North America.” It was there that Butcher learned she was not alone in her opposing identities: Joy—a pillar of unflinching independence—spent much of her life fighting the same battles. Along the way, Butcher explores myriad issues with nuance and grace, including Indigenous rights, violence against women, religious hypocrisy, and environmental concerns. It’s a trip readers won’t soon forget. Agent: Samantha Shea, Georges Borchard. (Nov.)