With Return of the Trickster, Eden Robinson concludes her Trickster trilogy

Joshua Azizi


It's been a busy past few years for Eden Robinson.

In 2017, the Kitamaat Village-based author released the best-selling novel, Son of a Trickster, a coming-of-age story that also makes room for fantasy elements and Indigenous storytelling. She followed it up with a sequel, Trickster Drift, a year later.

In 2020, the CBC adapted Son of a Trickster into a TV series titled Trickster, and her 2000 novel Monkey Beach was made into a film as well.

This month, she's finally concluded her trilogy with the release of Return of the Trickster.

"This is my third novel in the Trickster series and we're following Jared Martin -- spoiler alert, he's the son of a trickster!"

Robinson says the book's writing process was highly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. She described the first draft as being very gentle -- but then the pandemic happened, and she had a COVID scare during a writer's residency in Campbell River.

"In that mood I wrote the second draft, and everybody died. On the very last page, Jared died. It was just a massacre from beginning to end and my editor was like, 'can not everybody die?'"

She eventually returned to Kitamaat Village, where she wrote the third draft and added in some more absurd moments, such as a scene where the protagonist's organs are running around a hospital bathroom.

"The absurd moments that happen after the extreme horror are little elements that I added in the third draft when I could look at it with a little more distance."

The Trickster TV series was cancelled by CBC earlier this year, after questions arose surrounding its director's claims to Indigenous heritage. Robinson said she had no further comments to make about its cancellation, but in a previous statement, she wrote that watching the show's young Indigenous cast "soar" was one of the best parts of 2020 for her.  

Now that the trilogy's finished, Robinson plans to focus on shorter writing projects as well as her physiotherapy appointments. Although she doesn't have any big novels planned at the moment, she does have story ideas in mind.

"I have competing novels in my head and they all want to come out at the same time, but that won't work. Eventually one will come to the surface and I'll work on that."

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