The Next Chapter

Eden Robinson's novel Return of the Trickster completes the story of a teen named Jared

The B.C.-based author spoke with Shelagh Rogers about writing the final book in the bestselling Trickster book trilogy.
Return of the Trickster is a novel by Eden Robinson. (Knopf Canada, Red Works Photography)

Eden Robinson, the award-winning writer from B.C., returns with the anticipated novel Return of the Trickster, the third and final outing in the bestselling Trickster book trilogy.

In Return of the Trickster, Jared is coming to terms with his trickster powers — and with the havoc they create for him and everyone he loves. His mom, Maggie, is coming to terms with them as well. But when his power-hungry Aunt Georgina comes to town, it's the beginning of a magical war — with Jared in the middle of it all.

Robinson is also the author of the novels Monkey Beach, Son of a Trickster and Trickster DriftSon of a Trickster was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was championed on Canada Reads 2020 by actor Kaniehtiio Horn.

Robinson spoke with Shelagh Rogers about writing Return of the Trickster.

The strength to keep on going

"Jared's strength comes from his connections. He's very much a people person. So at the lowest point in his life, his connections to people are what save him. 

"It gives him strength and eventually leads him to confront the scariest person in his universe."

The Trickster's nature

"Tricksters aren't empathetic, in any way, shape or form. They're very self-involved. There's a spectrum of tricksters, especially on the West Coast. Our trickster is less benevolent. He's not malicious, but he does take his pranks too far. He just got tired of walking around a mountain, so he pushed it down so he could just continue straight through, for example.

Tricksters aren't empathetic, in any way, shape or form. They're very self-involved.

"The Trickster I've written hews closer to the traditional trickster — and the person who would absolutely drive him up the wall is Jared. He just wouldn't understand anything about Jared, and vice versa. So I think that's a dynamic common in child-parent relationships."

Eden Robinson talks to CBC Afternoon Drive host Chris dela Torre about her novel Son of a Trickster, which will be defended by Kaniehtiio Horn on Canada Reads 2020. 7:17

Life changes

"I've had a lot of life changes and one of them was menopause. I still care about what people think, but not as much as I did before. Menopause has been incredibly freeing in that way. So it's been a gift, especially if you like the Trickster series. 

I used to be a night writer. I loved the witching hour. I used to write from 10 p.m. to two in the morning.

"So when things took a turn for the insane — in the very first attempts at writing the Trickster series, I just went with it. I used to be a night writer. I loved the witching hour. I used to write from 10 p.m. to two in the morning. 

"But I found that the muse that came to me in the morning hours is very different."

The nature of magic

"I grew up in a culture where the supernatural is not completely separate from the everyday. Spirits, once you figure out what they want, they are pretty easy to deal with them. They are supernatural creatures. They have their own lives. 

"They have their own clans. So you interact with them the way you would with neighbours. So that's what I carry into the Trickster series. It's hard for me to think of a world where it's completely separate.

I grew up in a culture where the supernatural is not completely separate from the everyday.

"To me, those magic moments are when you really connect with people, even though you're vastly different. That's the same thing with the supernatural — when you find your way into their world you realize what they want is pretty simple. But the connections that are forged, are the magical elements to me."

Eden Robinson's comments have been edited for length and clarity.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

now