Nominated by:

Calgary Public Library, Canada

Ottawa Public Library, Canada

Vancouver Public Library, Canada

Publisher of nominated edition:

Vintage, Canada

Son of a Trickster

Eden Robinson      

Everyone knows a guy like Jared: the burnout kid in high school who sells weed cookies and has a scary mom who’s often wasted and wielding some kind of weapon. Jared does smoke and drink too much, and he does make the best cookies in town, and his mom is a mess, but he’s also a kid who has an immense capacity for compassion and an impulse to watch over people more than twice his age, and he can’t rely on anyone for consistent love and support, except for his flatulent pit bull, Baby Killer (he calls her Baby)–and now she’s dead.

Jared can’t count on his mom to stay sober and stick around to take care of him. He can’t rely on his dad to pay the bills and support his new wife and step-daughter. Jared is only sixteen but feels like he is the one who must stabilize his family’s life, even look out for his elderly neighbours. But he struggles to keep everything afloat…and sometimes he blacks out. And he puzzles over why his maternal grandmother has never liked him, why she says he’s the son of a trickster, that he isn’t human. Mind you, ravens speak to him–even when he’s not stoned.
You think you know Jared, but you don’t.

About the Author

Haisla/Heiltsuk novelist Eden Robinson is the author of a collection of short stories written when she was a Goth, called Traplines. Her two previous novels, Monkey Beach and Blood Sports, were written before she discovered she was gluten-intolerant and tend to be quite grim, the latter being especially gruesome because, halfway 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.

(from publisher)

 Librarians’ comments

 A unique combination of humour and heartbreak, magic and realism, Robinson’s novel is a coming of age tale that reflects on the challenges faced by teenagers, dysfunctional family life, and the dynamics of indigenous beliefs.

 Hilarious, moving and brutal, Son of a Trickster combines realism with supernatural elements to tell the story of a memorable teenage boy and his dysfunctional family. Eden Robinson’s bracingly original voice draws the reader into this chaotic and subversive tale of traditional Haisla magic and modern Indigenous life in a depressed Canadian port city.

 The first book in the Trickster trilogy, this award-winning novel combines a coming-of-age story with Indigenous culture. Sixteen-year-old Jared struggles to keep his life on track despite family dysfunction and his grandmother’s pronouncement that he is the son of a trickster. Eden Robinson is one of the best writers in Canada today. Her representation of dark and at times, disturbing, social issues, and the links between traditional and modern Indigenous culture never fail to move the reader. Robinson’s vivid portrayal of youth trapped in nightmarish situations is a poignant reminder of the struggle for survival Indigenous youth face today. This book will appeal to all readers regardless of age.

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