1. What is the significance of the novel's title? How did it
strike you before reading the book, and then afterwards?
2. What is your favourite part of The Flying
Troutmans? Is it also the funniest part?
3. To what extent is Hattie looking for something, as opposed to
running away from things?
4. Discuss the portrayal of mental illness in The Flying
5. If you have read any other novels by Miriam Toews, how do
they compare to The Flying Troutmans?
6. Who is your favourite character in the novel, and why?
7. When Min whispers to Hattie from her hospital bed, what is
she asking her to do?
8. Consider the importance of one or more of the following in
the book: marriage, music, siblings, community, depression, family,
death, basketball, love, children, loss, eccentricity, acceptance,
adolescence . . . or choose a subject of your own.
9. How do Hattie's feelings about Min change over the course of
10. How does Miriam Toews interweave the past and present in
The Flying Troutmans, and to what purpose?
11. What are your thoughts on Hattie's ex-boyfriend, Marc?
12. About Min:
"In the world of children, Min was a genius, she could navigate it
in her sleep. She could read book after book to them, sing song
after song, soothe them for hours, tenderly and humorously cajole
them out of the tantrums, build cities and empires with them in the
sandbox for an entire day and answer a million questions in a row
without ever losing her cool. She had conceived them, given birth
to them and nursed them into life. But out there, in that other
world, she was continually crashing into things."(p.175)
How does this passage add to your sense of Min? Is it typical, or
unusual? Does it tell us something important about Hattie?
13. About Thebes:
"Thebes had found a soulmate in this homicidal cosmonaut.
Impeccably, somberly united in their mutual, impossible longing to
live in places that weren't real, they high-fived and punched and
slapped and then gazed for a while out the window at the real
world, the one they'd had it with." (p.195)
How does this description enhance or alter your sense of Thebes'
14. Logan on Min:
"Even when she gets better, he said, it's for like three days or
maybe a week and then it's over, she gives up, it's just so . . . I
think Thebes and I are on our own."(p.229)
How is this comment important to the book, and to understanding
Logan? Do you think it's true?
15. The novel begins, "Yeah, so things have fallen apart." Are
they back together again by the end of the book, or not? Did the
ending come as a surprise to you?
16. Are you recommending The Flying Troutmans
to friends? Why, or why not?