Sunday February 12, 2017

Indigenous Reads: Eden Robinson and Son of a Trickster

Author Eden Robinson's new novel Son of a Trickster is the first book in a trilogy.

Author Eden Robinson's new novel Son of a Trickster is the first book in a trilogy. (Mark Raynes Robert)

Listen 12:17

Tricksters and teenage angst are the focus of our new Indigenous Reads choice. Our radio book club invites you to read along to Indigenous books. Our fifth book is Son of a Trickster, the latest novel by Eden Robinson.

A trickster in Indigenous culture is a polymorphic being with a wide array of knowledge and wisdom combined with unruly behaviour.

"In this book the trickster is Weegit - the transforming Raven. He performs a lot of roles in Haisla mythology," said Robinson.

"His biggest role is to teach you about our protocols by breaking all the rules."

Son of a Trickster is the first in a trilogy. It started out as a short story and started to grow into a 1,000 page novel, or a doorstop, as Robinson likes to call it. She said she was at about page 400 when she realized she needed to break it down into a trilogy.

BOOK COVER: Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson

Son of a Trickster focuses on Jared, a teenage burnout who may or may not be who he seems. Although he smokes and drinks too much for a 16-year-old, Jared is also compassionate and cares for people older than himself. Recently, ravens have begun speaking to him, even when he's not high.

"I have a very large family and I get a lot of stories," said Robinson, explaining how she was able to write a teenage boy character.  

Robinson was raised in Haisla territory near Kitamaat Village, surrounded by the forests and mountains of the central coast of British Columbia.

Her Haisla father met her Heiltsuk mother during a stop in Bella Bella, B.C., back in his fishing days. Robinson still lives in Kitamaat where many of her stories, including this one, were born.

"The land is crucial to my writing … the power of a story is its specificity. It comes from a certain place," said Robinson.

The Indigenous Reads panel for Son of a Trickster will convene on February 26. So grab a copy of Robinson's book and get ready to join the discussion. She is currently on a book tour with stops in Winnipeg, Calgary, Saskatoon, Victoria, Vancouver and Terrace, B.C.