A young Native American woman remembers her volatile childhood as she searches for her lost brother in the Canadian wilds in an extraordinary, critically acclaimed debut novel As she races along Canada’s Douglas Channel in her speedboat—heading toward the place where her younger brother Jimmy, presumed drowned, was last seen—twenty-year-old Lisamarie Hill recalls her younger days. A volatile and precocious Native girl growing up in Kitamaat, the Haisla Indian reservation located five hundred miles north of Vancouver, Lisa came of age standing with her feet firmly planted in two different worlds: the spiritual realm of the Haisla and the sobering “real” world with its dangerous temptations of violence, drugs, and despair. From her beloved grandmother, Ma-ma-oo, she learned of tradition and magic; from her adored, Elvis-loving uncle Mick, a Native rights activist on a perilous course, she learned to see clearly, to speak her mind, and never to bow down. But the tragedies that have scarred her life and ultimately led her to these frigid waters cannot destroy her indomitable spirit, even though the ghosts that speak to her in the night warn her that the worst may be yet to come. Easily one of the most admired debut novels to appear in many a decade, Eden Robinson’s Monkey Beach was immediately greeted with universal acclaim—called “gripping” by the San Diego Union-Tribune, “wonderful” by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and “glorious” by the Globe and Mail, earning nominations for numerous literary awards before receiving the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Evocative, moving, haunting, and devastatingly funny, it is an extraordinary read from a brilliant literary voice that must be heard.
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.” From the Trade Paperback edition.
In a novel set in Canada, on the Haisla reservation of Kitamaat, a young Native American woman's visions facilitate a journey of self-discovery that will take her into the heart of her troubled society.
Seminar paper from the year 2016 in the subject English - Literature, Works, grade: 2,0, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg (Institute of English Studies), language: English, abstract: Only very few people are used to storytelling for even fairy tales are written down and read out loud to children the same way over and over again without alteration. Changing perspective to first nation tribes one can easily discover the importance that oral tradition and storytelling has to these people. It existed long before literature was introduced by the settlers in the post-colonial era. While contemporary Canadian fiction and short story writing developed in the middle of the nineteen-hundredth century, Native Canadian Writing was forced to create their own distinctive style of writing. By combining storytelling with literature the new genre of storywriting was created. In this paper I will analyze the key features of storywriting and will exemplify them with quotes from the book Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson (2000). First I will present a short overview over the author and the book in general. Then I will give a brief overview about the main motifs, symbols and topics that the book deals with. In the main part of this paper I will present different quotes and show typical aspects for oral tradition that can be found within them.
From Chris Grabenstein, the bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and coauthor with James Patterson of I Funny, House of Robots, and Treasure Hunters, comes the second hilarious, fun-in-the-sun adventure in his new illustrated series about all the wacky things that happen when you live in a motel! There’s always something wacky happening when you live in a motel, and P.T. (named after P. T. Barnum, of course) has grown up at the world’s wackiest! When word gets out that the hottest teen idols in Hollywood (plus current YouTube sensation Kevin the Monkey!) will be filming their next movie—Beach Party Surf Monkey—right in St. Pete’s Beach, Florida, P.T. and his friend Gloria know that the Wonderland would be the perfect location. Now they just have to convince the producers! But when things start to go wrong (crazed fans? missing stars?), it will take all of Gloria’s business genius and P.T.’s wild stories to save the movie before both it and the Wonderland are all washed up! BONUS: Includes fun extras like P.T. and Gloria’s Famous Fact-or-Fiction Quiz: Movie Edition
"P.T. and Gloria try to save the Wonderland again by getting a teen singing sensation to shoot a movie at the motel"--
"Outrageous hijinks and nonstop hilarity--five-stars!" --Lincoln Peirce, author of the Big Nate series From the bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library and coauthor with James Patterson of I Funny, House of Robots, and Treasure Hunters, comes the second hilarious, fun-in-the-sun adventure in his illustrated series about all the wacky things that happen when you live in a motel! There's always something wacky happening when you live in a motel, and P.T. (named after P. T. Barnum, of course) has grown up at the world's wackiest! When word gets out that the hottest teen idols in Hollywood (plus current YouTube sensation Kevin the Monkey!) will be filming their next movie--Beach Party Surf Monkey--right in St. Pete's Beach, Florida, P.T. and his friend Gloria know that the Wonderland would be the perfect location. Now they just have to convince the producers! But when things start to go wrong (crazed fans? missing stars?), it will take all of Gloria's business genius and P.T.'s wild stories to save the movie before both it and the Wonderland are all washed up! BONUS: Includes fun extras like P.T. and Gloria's Famous Fact-or-Fiction Quiz: Movie Edition Here's What People are saying about Welcome to Wonderland! "Outrageous hijinks and nonstop hilarity--five-stars! Kids who check into this madcap motel will want to stay forever!" --Lincoln Peirce, author of the Big Nate series "So funny I fell off my bed!"--Izzy B., age 10 "Classic Grabenstein. The mystery should satisfy Grabenstein's "Mr. Lemoncello" followers, and the humor and visuals will appeal to fans of his collaborations with James Patterson. This new series should be a hit."--School Library Journal "A delight. P.T. is a hoot and a half. A funny, madcap dash."--Kirkus Reviews "Charm galore. Easy and breezy, this well-paced novel . . . belongs in the hands of any readers wanting their bad guys bad, their good guys great, and a little of Wonderland's promised fun in the sun."--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books