The Bukowski Agency - Son of a Trickster

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86,000 words hardcover
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Canada: Knopf, Feb 2017
World English Audio: Audible

ABOUT EDEN ROBINSON

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

Haisla/Heiltsuk novelist Eden Robinson is the author of a collection of short stories called Traplines, written when she was a Goth.  Her two previous novels, Monkey Beach (now in its 26th printing in paperback) and Blood Sports, were written before she discovered that she is gluten-intolerant and tend to be quite grim, the latter being especially gruesome because half-way through writing the manuscript, Robinson gave up a two-pack-a-day cigarette habit and the more she suffered, the more her characters suffered. Son of a Trickster was written under the influence of pan-fried tofu and nutritional yeast, which may explain things but probably doesn’t.  Suffice it to say that it returns to the territory of Monkey Beach—the angst of contemporary aboriginal adolescents—with a much lighter (and wackier) and totally original touch.

Son of a Trickster

a novel by Eden Robinson

THE DARK AND WACKY AGONY OF ABORIGINAL ADOLESCENTS - THE FIRST
OF A TRILOGY


 

“A charmingly chaotic tale.”— THE TORONTO STAR

“This is an engaging novel whose characters come fully to life.”— THE VANCOUVER SUN

“What this novel does for the non-indigenous reader is to make totem poles, masks, and legends come alive. This remarkable novel takes indigenous writing to a new level.”— DAVID STOUCK, author of Arthur Erickson: An Architect’s Life

“Robinson ramps up the supernatural developments in the latter half of the novel; this long, slow build displays both her confidence and skill, as does the way she resists long, drawn-out explanations of how her supernatural world works.… The most impressive thing about Son of a Trickster is how Robinson can, when she wants to, cut through all of her jokes through the story’s absurd tone, and move past grandiose implications of how the supernatural intersects with Jared’s life. In these instances, she manages small, affecting insights and sad moments.”— WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

“Eden Robinson is a masterful storyteller. Shimmering with deft prose, unforgettable characters, and haunting truths, Son of a Trickster reminds us that sometimes the surest way to solid ground is through believing in magic.”— AMI MCKAY, author of The Birth House, The Virgin Cure and The Witches of New York

Son of a Trickster is filled with darkness and squalor and obscenity. And yet, startlingly, it brings the reader to a place of wonder and mystery and magic. It is a story of a boy born into a violent history. It is a story of a boy born into a magnificent culture. Robinson bravely reconciles these oppositions in a story that is equal parts irreverent humour and astute wisdom.”— Heather O’Neill, author of Lullabies for Little Criminals, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, and Daydreams of Angels

“Eden Robinson is a writer with a magical touch. Crisp prose, taut dialogue, and a cast of maniacal characters you sure as hell don't want living next door.”— THOMAS KING, author of The Back of the Turtle

“Eden Robinson is more than funny, more than intelligent, more than a novelist—she’s an enchanter. Son of a Trickster creates a terrifically believable teenage character who lives both on the rez and in a witchy soup of blood, sex and magic. Harry Potter goes to reform school. Full of sparks, full of pain, full of joy.”— Alix Hawley, author of All True Not a Lie in It

“If Raven and Trickster got a show on Netflix, no one could write it but Eden Robinson. Talking ravens, party drugs, deadbeat dads, murderous otters, Doctor Who—nobody brings together pop culture, indigenous culture and myth with more ferocity and humour. Son of a Trickster is my favourite book this year.”
— Annabel Lyon, author of The Sweet Girl and The Golden Mean

Author Eden Robinson

Son of a Trickster is a unique, genuinely surprising novel from one of Canada’s finest writers, a blend of hardscrabble coming-of-age story with mythic fiction at its most powerfully subversive. It’s exactly as slippery as a trickster tale should be, changing direction and shape even as you convince yourself you know what’s going on, and what will likely happen next.… This is Robinson at her best.”
— THE NATIONAL POST

 

 

Son of a Trickster coverSon of a Trickster combines aboriginal belief systems and wacky family dynamics with fantasy, horror, and edgy, mordant humour in an unorthodox coming-of-age story. One of seventeen-year-old Jared Martin’s grandmothers insists that he is the son of Wee’git the Trickster, that dangerous shape-shifter who looks innocent but wreaks havoc. His other grandmother insists that “If you weren’t your dad’s and your momma tried to pass you off as his, I’d have slit her throat and left her in a ditch to die like a dog.”  Jared’s far-northern west-coast Native community is closing in on him: his mom’s psycho ex-boyfriend, Death Threat, tries to kill him; Jared is beaten senseless for his weed, essential to the cookie business with which he supports his father, who plays him for all he is worth; his mom takes up with a biker who moves in along with his pit bull, Baby Killer.

 “The world is hard. You have to be harder.” That’s Jared’s mother’s favorite saying. When he starts seeing purple men who follow him everywhere he goes, fireflies who wax philosophical about the universe, and river otters who look like people he knows, at first he thinks it has to be the weed. But Jared is about to find out some hard truths about himself and his family: these supernatural creatures are hell-bent on revenge against them.

The world is hard. Now Jared has to be harder.

 

PRAISE FOR MONKEY BEACH

“Eden Robinson has written a great book. Tough, tender, and fierce. Monkey Beach is a valuable addition to North American literature.”  — SHERMAN ALEXIE

“Beautifully written and haunting, this is an impressive debut.”  — THE TIMES, UK

Monkey Beach is far more than a novel of psychological transformation, though it is that. It is, in the best sense, a thriller, a spiritual mystery.... The novel also contains some of the truest passages I have read on what it is like to be a teenager.... Puberty has rarely received such a perceptive and unflinching gaze. You can tell Monkey Beach is an original because you actually want to read it again.... A startlingly accomplished first novel.”  — THE WASHINGTON POST

“Although death hangs like a Pacific mist over these pages, Robinson, herself a Haisla, fills this edifying book with the stuff of the living, from the tiniest details of Haisla life to the mightiest universals of tradition, desire and family love.  — THE LOS ANGELES TIMES

“Robinson’s paean to the Pacific Northwest and Haisla culture, embodied in her stout-hearted hero and all her other vital and complex characters, does what good literature does best: It moves meaningfully from the particular to the universal and back again. And Robinson performs this enlightening feat with genuine insight, wry humor and translucent lyricism.  — THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE

“Robinson has created a convincing, well-written work, filled with the sadness of a disappearing way of life and a family’s grief.  — SEATTLE TIMES

“As a writer she pays attention to the significance of small things: crows, Kraft Dinners, soapberry mash. As a storyteller she captures a place and its inevitable impact on the people who live there. Her descriptions of the Canadian Pacific wilderness are sensual and evocative. The result is a sort of magical realism firmly rooted in the familiar trappings of the real world.  — PORTLAND OREGONIAN


Monkey Beach new cover

 

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