B.C. author Eden Robinson has achieved wide international acclaim for her writing since first coming to public attention with her books Traplines (1996) and Monkey Beach (2000).
Robinson will visit Maple Ridge Public Library at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5 for a free public talk about her writing life and the latest book in the series, Trickster Trilogy.
The first book, Son of a Trickster, introduces readers to Jared, an indigenous high-school student living between the magical and the mundane in the northern coastal town of Kitimat, B.C.
With substance-abusing parents, his own struggles with alcohol and drugs, and a sideline business selling weed cookies to pay his dad’s rent, Jared’s life seems to be going nowhere fast.
To make things more complicated, ravens are speaking to him and he has started seeing ghosts. But despite these and other challenges, Jared also finds kindness and connection, often in the most unlikely places.
In the second book of the series, the recently released Trickster Drift, we pick up Jared’s story as he moves to Vancouver to go to school. Things haven’t gotten any easier as he tries to kick his drug and alcohol use, avoid a violent ex-boyfriend of his mother’s and cope with the increasing presence of magic in his life.
Described as one of the foremost chroniclers of contemporary indigenous-Canadian life, Robinson unflinchingly explores difficult topics with humour and a lightness of touch.
Robinson, child of a Haisla father and Heiltsuk mother, grew up in Kitamaat Village and attended school in nearby Kitimat. She went on to do her undergrad in creative writing at the University of Victoria and after “a lot of McJobs – janitor, mail clerk, napkin ironer” – completed her MFA at the University of British Columbia.
Robinson’s first book, Traplines, was a collection of short stories that earned her the U.K.’s Winifred Holtby Prize. Her novel, Monkey Beach, was short-listed for both the Giller Prize and the Governor-General’s Literary Award, and won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Son of a Trickster was short-listed for the 2017 Giller Prize.
When describing her writing, Robinson says: “I was born on the same day as Edgar Allan Poe and Dolly Parton: January 19. I am absolutely certain that this affects my writing in some way.”
Such tongue-in-cheek humour, Robinson’s distinctive laugh and great storytelling are what you can expect to hear when you come to her reading and talk on Oct 5. It’s an event that should not be missed.
To learn more about this event and other Maple Ridge Public Library programs and services, call 604-467-7417 or check out fvrl.bc.ca.
Liza Morris is a librarian at the Maple Ridge branch.