Niagara Motel


Published in Canada and USA by Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016, 259 pp.
Rights sold to: Germany (Rowohlt, May 2017)




Set in the early 1990s, eleven-year-old Tucker Malone is the only child of a narcoleptic touring stripper, and he believes that his father is Sam Malone from Cheers. He and his mother Gina move from motel to motel until one night, in Niagara Falls, Gina is hit by a car after falling asleep in the street. Tucker is sent to live in a youth group home where he meets Meredith, a pregnant sixteen-year-old with more than her fair share of family problems, until he convinces her to “borrow” a car to go to Boston to find his father.
Their cross-country search becomes an epic depiction of mid-90s America as Tucker comes face to face with some of the most notorious criminals of the time (The Oklahoma Bomber; Lorena Bobbitt; the boys responsible for the Columbine High School massacre) and they arrive in Los Angeles just as the Rodney King riots are unfolding.
Told in spare, straightforward prose, Niagara Motel is a biting chronicle during the rise of mass-media in the decade that defined the MTV Generation, and the bittersweet story of a young boy forced to learn brutal lessons on his way to becoming a man.

“A dark, fearless portrait of an adolescence lived in less than ideal circumstances. Told with a balanced touch of humour and tragedy, Niagara Motel is as heartbreaking as it is hilarious.”
Michael Christie, author of If I Fall, If I Die

“Tucker’s the heart of this improbable series of events. An innocent in a tough and corrupt world, his generous narration – the voice, the sense-making, the insight – is the great drawing card of Little’s novel.”
Vancouver Sun

Ashley Little‘s Anatomy of a Girl Gang won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize (BC Book Prizes), was shortlisted for the Vancouver Book Award, and was longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her follow-up novel Niagara Motel was shortlisted for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Her young adult novel The New Normal (Orca) won the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize. She has an MFA from the University of British Columbia. She lives in the Okanagan Valley.