Some Maintenance Required

Original title: Les Chars meurent aussi

Publication Date:

November 2018



Original language and publisher

French | Editions XYZ

Territories Handled

English (World excl Canada), France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Scandinavia

Territories Sold

World English (Anansi)
Film/TV rights (KOTV)


Literary Fiction

Some Maintenance Required

Original title: Les Chars meurent aussi


Lavoie shares a sensibility with Miriam Toews, where flitty, whimsical kites of characters are tethered to earth with threads of melancholy and darkness. — National Post

Marie-Renée Lavoie is a highwire artist who derives her strength from her knowledge of human foibles. — La Presse

At nineteen, Laurie has a new waitressing job and her first set of wheels: a rust-colored Poney in need of some love that her father (good thing he’s a mechanic!) dug up for her. Her mother Suzanne, a parking lot attendant, has passed on her love of books, though Laurie ultimately decides to study science at college. Her parents dream of sending her to university so Laurie can do better than they did. The family takes care of little Cindy, who has essentially been abandoned by her own parents. Cindy is delighted by the stories Laurie invents and the treats Suzanne makes for her. When Laurie loses her job at the restaurant, learns her mother is hiding a dark secret, and sees her fledgling romance with the dazzling Romain come to an abrupt end, she must turn to her loved ones to find the strength to smile.

Lavoie’s talent shines through, lending a singular voice—at once naïve and mature—to her remarkable young protagonist.

A funny, heartwarming portrait of Quebec City’s Lower Town in the early 1990s.


“Hey, Jing! Is my dad there?”

The food truck pulled up with a screech, drowning out the answer. Like rats scurrying off a ship, the guys pounced on egg salad sandwiches, BBQ peanuts and cheese curls. They wiped their hands carelessly on the dog’s oily back, eating and licking their fingers without a thought to whatever else they might be ingesting. An autopsy of a mechanic would doubtless reveal an interior splattered with oil, as if someone had butchered an octopus. I’d punctured the ink sac of mine during a dissection for biology, so I know what I’m talking about.

Marketing Information

  • English translation available soon
  • Winner of Une ville, un livre 2019
  • Finalist for the Prix du Club des Irrésistibles – Bibliothèques de Montréal 2021