Eden Robinson Monkey Beach

ISBN 13: 9780676973228

Monkey Beach

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Eden Robinson's first book, a collection of stories titled Traplines, earned high praise from critics: "Expertly rendered" (New York Times Book Review), and "Captured my attention and permeated my subconscious" (Toronto Globe and Mail). The book was named a New York Times Notable and won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize from the Royal Society of Literature.
Robinson's mastery is confirmed in Monkey Beach, the first full-length work of fiction by a Haisla writer and an unforgettable story set in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest. This powerful novel reminds us that places, as much as people, have stories to tell.
Five hundred miles north of Vancouver is Kitamaat, an Indian reservation in the homeland of the Haisla people. Growing up a tough, wild tomboy, swimming, fighting, and fishing in a remote village where the land slips into the green ocean on the edge of the world, Lisamarie has always been different. Visited by ghosts and shapeshifters, tormented by premonitions, she can't escape the sense that something terrible is waiting for her. She recounts her enchanted yet scarred life as she journeys in her speedboat up the frigid waters of the Douglas Channel. She is searching for her brother, dead by drowning, and in her own way running as fast as she can toward danger. Circling her brother's tragic death are the remarkable characters that make up her family: Lisamarie's parents, struggling to join their Haisla heritage with Western ways; Uncle Mick, a Native rights activist and devoted Elvis fan; and the headstrong Ma-ma-oo (Haisla for "grandmother"), a guardian of tradition. Haunting, funny, and vividly poignant, Monkey Beach gives full scope to Robinson's startling ability to make bedfellows of comedy and the dark underside of life. Informed as much by its lush living wilderness as by the humanity of its colorful characters, Monkey Beach is a profoundly moving story about childhood and the pain of growing older--a multilayered tale of family grief and redemption.

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Review:

Lisamarie Hill, the protagonist of Eden Robinson's coming-of-age novel Monkey Beach, is a terror. She'll run out of an evacuating car to get a better view of a tidal wave. She'll drag you unconscious to a deserted island with nothing but cigarettes, marshmallows, and the need to get you talking. Whatever her age, she'll ask awkward questions.

Set in the coastal Haisla village of Kitamaat near British Columbia's dauntingly gorgeous Queen Charlotte Islands, Monkey Beach is the story of Lisa and her Haisla community, including uncles involved in First Nations warrior movements, industrious grandmothers with one foot in the grave and the other in various spirit worlds, and the long-armed specter of residential schools. The path to adulthood (and you risk a bloody nose if you call Lisa an adult) for Lisa and her friends is beset by the dangers of substance abuse and family violence but sprinkled with hopes as varied as Olympic gold or, sadly, a "really great truck."

Monkey Beach succeeds as a novel of voice. Narrator and hero Lisa is whip-smart and ever cracking-wise: "The sky, one sheet of pissing greyness, stretches low across the horizon." Plot, however, doesn't come off so naturally. The Big Horrible Event at the story's end seems produced by page count alone, not by character. Voice and character do carry the novel, but the plot feels microwaved where it should be slow-roasted. --Darryl Whetter

About the Author:

Eden Robinson is a thirty-one-year-old Haisla woman who grew up near Kitimat, British Columbia. Her previous collection, TRAPLINES, was awarded the Winifred Holtby Prize for the best first work of fiction by a Commonwealth writer and was a New York Times Editor's Choice and Notable Book of the Year.

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Book Description Vintage Books Canada, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Monkey Beach combines both joy and tragedy in a harrowing yet restrained story of grief and survival, and of a family on the edge of heartbreak. In the first English-language novel to be published by a Haisla writer, Eden Robinson offers a rich celebration of life in the Native settlement of Kitamaat, on the coast of British Columbia. The story grips the reader from the beginning. It is the morning after the narrator?s brother has gone missing at sea; the mood is tense in the family house, as speculations remain unspoken. Jimmy is a prospective Olympic swimmer, seventeen years old and on the edge of proposing to his beautiful girlfriend Karaoke. As his elder sister, Lisa, faces possible disaster, she chain-smokes and drifts into thoughts of their lives so far. She recalls the time when she and Jimmy saw the sasquatch, or b?gwus ? and this sighting introduces the novel s fascinating undercurrent of characters from the spirit world. These ghostly presences may strike the reader as mysterious or frightening, but they provide Lisa with guidance through a difficult coming of age. In and out of the emergency room as a child, Lisa is a fighter. Her smart mouth and temper constantly threaten to land her in serious trouble. Those who have the most influence on her are her stubbornly traditional, machete-wielding grandmother, and her wild, passionate, political Uncle Mick, who teaches her to make moose calls. When they empty fishing nets together, she pretends she doesn?t feel the jellyfish stinging her young hands ? she?s Uncle Mick?s ?little warrior.? We watch Lisa leave her teenage years behind as she waits for news of her younger brother. She reflects on the many rich episodes of their lives ? so many of which take place around the water, reminding us of the news she fears, and revealing the menacing power of nature. But Lisa has a special recourse ? a ?gift? that enables her to see and hear spirits, and ask for their help. Monkey Beach, Eden Robinson?s first novel, was nominated for Canada?s two largest literary prizes: the Giller Prize and the Governor General?s Literary Award. The book was also published in Great Britain, the United States and Germany, and was a Canadian bestseller for many weeks. Monkey Beach is beautifully written, in prose that is simple and subtle, bold and vivid, and pervaded by humour. Robinson fills her novel with details of Haisla culture and the rich wildlife surrounding Kitamaat. She uses traditional elements of storytelling ? such as dreams, and people?s ties to nature ? but also demystifies Native beliefs, simultaneously peeling away and intensifying the mystery surrounding spirits. Ancient rituals are shown as part of the reality of a modern Native community, along with Kraft Dinner and TV soaps and the legacy of residential schools. Robinson?s previous book of stories, Traplines, was remarked upon for being brutally honest, featuring rapists and drunks and drug dealers, psychopaths and sadists ? proving to The New York Times that ?Canadians are as weird and violent as anyone else.? Monkey Beach is just as honest, but only hints at the darker elements. In the words of the author, ?None of the characters are bad. They?re just reacting like anyone else to situations of loss and death.?. Seller Inventory # AAB9780676973228

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Book Description Vintage Books Canada, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Monkey Beach combines both joy and tragedy in a harrowing yet restrained story of grief and survival, and of a family on the edge of heartbreak. In the first English-language novel to be published by a Haisla writer, Eden Robinson offers a rich celebration of life in the Native settlement of Kitamaat, on the coast of British Columbia. The story grips the reader from the beginning. It is the morning after the narrator?s brother has gone missing at sea; the mood is tense in the family house, as speculations remain unspoken. Jimmy is a prospective Olympic swimmer, seventeen years old and on the edge of proposing to his beautiful girlfriend Karaoke. As his elder sister, Lisa, faces possible disaster, she chain-smokes and drifts into thoughts of their lives so far. She recalls the time when she and Jimmy saw the sasquatch, or b?gwus ? and this sighting introduces the novel s fascinating undercurrent of characters from the spirit world. These ghostly presences may strike the reader as mysterious or frightening, but they provide Lisa with guidance through a difficult coming of age. In and out of the emergency room as a child, Lisa is a fighter. Her smart mouth and temper constantly threaten to land her in serious trouble. Those who have the most influence on her are her stubbornly traditional, machete-wielding grandmother, and her wild, passionate, political Uncle Mick, who teaches her to make moose calls. When they empty fishing nets together, she pretends she doesn?t feel the jellyfish stinging her young hands ? she?s Uncle Mick?s ?little warrior.? We watch Lisa leave her teenage years behind as she waits for news of her younger brother. She reflects on the many rich episodes of their lives ? so many of which take place around the water, reminding us of the news she fears, and revealing the menacing power of nature. But Lisa has a special recourse ? a ?gift? that enables her to see and hear spirits, and ask for their help. Monkey Beach, Eden Robinson?s first novel, was nominated for Canada?s two largest literary prizes: the Giller Prize and the Governor General?s Literary Award. The book was also published in Great Britain, the United States and Germany, and was a Canadian bestseller for many weeks. Monkey Beach is beautifully written, in prose that is simple and subtle, bold and vivid, and pervaded by humour. Robinson fills her novel with details of Haisla culture and the rich wildlife surrounding Kitamaat. She uses traditional elements of storytelling ? such as dreams, and people?s ties to nature ? but also demystifies Native beliefs, simultaneously peeling away and intensifying the mystery surrounding spirits. Ancient rituals are shown as part of the reality of a modern Native community, along with Kraft Dinner and TV soaps and the legacy of residential schools. Robinson?s previous book of stories, Traplines, was remarked upon for being brutally honest, featuring rapists and drunks and drug dealers, psychopaths and sadists ? proving to The New York Times that ?Canadians are as weird and violent as anyone else.? Monkey Beach is just as honest, but only hints at the darker elements. In the words of the author, ?None of the characters are bad. They?re just reacting like anyone else to situations of loss and death.?. Seller Inventory # AAB9780676973228

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Eden Robinson
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Book Description Vintage Books Canada, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Monkey Beach combines both joy and tragedy in a harrowing yet restrained story of grief and survival, and of a family on the edge of heartbreak. In the first English-language novel to be published by a Haisla writer, Eden Robinson offers a rich celebration of life in the Native settlement of Kitamaat, on the coast of British Columbia. The story grips the reader from the beginning. It is the morning after the narrator?s brother has gone missing at sea; the mood is tense in the family house, as speculations remain unspoken. Jimmy is a prospective Olympic swimmer, seventeen years old and on the edge of proposing to his beautiful girlfriend Karaoke. As his elder sister, Lisa, faces possible disaster, she chain-smokes and drifts into thoughts of their lives so far. She recalls the time when she and Jimmy saw the sasquatch, or b?gwus ? and this sighting introduces the novel s fascinating undercurrent of characters from the spirit world. These ghostly presences may strike the reader as mysterious or frightening, but they provide Lisa with guidance through a difficult coming of age. In and out of the emergency room as a child, Lisa is a fighter. Her smart mouth and temper constantly threaten to land her in serious trouble. Those who have the most influence on her are her stubbornly traditional, machete-wielding grandmother, and her wild, passionate, political Uncle Mick, who teaches her to make moose calls. When they empty fishing nets together, she pretends she doesn?t feel the jellyfish stinging her young hands ? she?s Uncle Mick?s ?little warrior.? We watch Lisa leave her teenage years behind as she waits for news of her younger brother. She reflects on the many rich episodes of their lives ? so many of which take place around the water, reminding us of the news she fears, and revealing the menacing power of nature. But Lisa has a special recourse ? a ?gift? that enables her to see and hear spirits, and ask for their help. Monkey Beach, Eden Robinson?s first novel, was nominated for Canada?s two largest literary prizes: the Giller Prize and the Governor General?s Literary Award. The book was also published in Great Britain, the United States and Germany, and was a Canadian bestseller for many weeks. Monkey Beach is beautifully written, in prose that is simple and subtle, bold and vivid, and pervaded by humour. Robinson fills her novel with details of Haisla culture and the rich wildlife surrounding Kitamaat. She uses traditional elements of storytelling ? such as dreams, and people?s ties to nature ? but also demystifies Native beliefs, simultaneously peeling away and intensifying the mystery surrounding spirits. Ancient rituals are shown as part of the reality of a modern Native community, along with Kraft Dinner and TV soaps and the legacy of residential schools. Robinson?s previous book of stories, Traplines, was remarked upon for being brutally honest, featuring rapists and drunks and drug dealers, psychopaths and sadists ? proving to The New York Times that ?Canadians are as weird and violent as anyone else.? Monkey Beach is just as honest, but only hints at the darker elements. In the words of the author, ?None of the characters are bad. They?re just reacting like anyone else to situations of loss and death.?. Seller Inventory # BZV9780676973228

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