Traplines by Eden Robinson

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US: Metropolitan Books
US eBook: Open Road
Canada: Knopf, 1996
UK: Little, Brown & Company
France: Éditions de l'Olivier
Germany: Rowohlt Verlag GmbH
Netherlands: Uitgeverij Prometheus


Eden Robinson (Photo: Arthur Renwick)
(Photo: Arthur Renwick))

Eden Robinson is the author of the bestselling Son of a Trickster, a 2017 finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize; the sequel Trickster Drift (October 2018), which won the Ethel Wilson BC Book Prize for Fiction; Blood Sports (2006), Traplines (1996), and Monkey Beach (2000), winner of the Ethel Wilson BC Book Prize and a finalist for the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award. Monkey Beach is a perennial bestseller read in schools and universities; 80,000 copies are in print. It has just been shot as a feature film. Eden won the $50,000 Writers Trust of Canada Fellowship in 2017. She has matriarchal tendencies and her hobbies include: Shopping for the Apocalypse, using vocabulary as a weapon, nominating cousins to band council while they’re out of town, chair yoga, looking up possible diseases or syndromes on the interwebs, perfecting gluten-free bannock and playing Mah-jong. She lives in Kitimat, BC, where she is working on the third book in the Trickster Trilogy, which had been picked up by CBC for a TV series aired in 2020.


four novellas by Eden Robinson


  • Winner of the Winifred Holtby Prize, UK
  • A New York Times Editor's Choice and Notable Book of the Year

Traplines 2019 edition coverIn crackling prose, Eden Robinson describes homes ruled by bullies, psychopaths and delinquents; families whose conflict resolution techniques range from grand theft to homicide; and kids who just can't get a break. A young woman copes with her mother's history as a serial killer. A boy, who slowly realizes that his cousin is deranged, feels torn between the need to eat and the desire to resist his tormentor. Struggling with ambivalent loyalties, a teenager faces the choice of leaving home or staying with abusive, alcoholic parents.

Told with icy clarity in the blackest of humours, Traplines offers an unsettling look at an urban landscape where the bizarre and twisted coexist naturally with the full and normal. A master of psychological suspense, Eden Robinson guides us through a world where the fast food, banged-up cars and grunge of modern adolescence barely camouflage the dark extremes of sex, fear and desire.


“This is a fine book—unflinching, moving and shockingly, bloodily funny. Eden Robinson offers a raw, muscular, urgent new voice: she writes from the heart and the more of that, the better.”  — A.L. KENNEDY

“A subtle, brutal, and compelling read.”  — ESTHER FREUD

“Effectively anonymous, deadpan prose [that] assimilates the discovery that Canadians are as weird and violent as anyone else on this continent.... Expertly rendered.”  — THE CALGARY HERALD

“Written with poise, intelligence and playfulness.”  — NATIONAL POST

“A native version of Trainspotting…. One of the most distinct and remarkable voices in fiction today.”  — SUNDAY MORNING

“I was not prepared for the forceful way in which Eden Robinson's four stories…captured my attention and permeated my subconscious…Even weeks later, my mind continued to dwell on…the four stories.”  — THE GLOBE AND MAIL

“Remarkable…. The stories she tells are undeniably powerful, and...eerie in their raw portrayal of extremely disturbed human beings.”  — TORONTO STAR

Traplines is a book whose precision and dramatic force slowly induce in the reader a dry-eyed sense of tragedy. It's a revolutionary work, and a remarkable debut.”  — THE VANCOUVER SUN

“These [stories] are human dramas which she narrates in a style that is disarming in its simplicity and brutal in its honesty. Combining pathos with biting humour, each of these beautifully crafted narratives has a sting…. Menacing but brilliantly conceived narratives.”  — INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY, UK

“Canada seems to have an inexhaustible supply of excellent women writers. Over the past 30 years Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro and Jeanette Turner Hospital, among others, have consistently produced novels and short stories of a very high standard. Now, there is another young and striking voice. Traplines contains four novellas in which Robinson takes us into the underside of family life, from the point of view of the teenagers involved. Her writing is fresh and often harrowing.”  — THE OBSERVER, UK



Traplines cover



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