2017 Giller Prize Shortlisted Author Explains How to Get More Indigenous Lit into the Hands of Canadians

From October 20—22, 2017, the Stratford Writers Festival will take over Stratford, Ontario, as some of Canada’s top literary and creative talents come together for this unique three-day festival. With the festival rapidly approaching, we caught up with attending author and 2017 Giller Prize shortlisted writer Eden Robinson to ask her a few questions about her latest projects, and why literary festivals are important to the Canadian artistic community.

To hear more from Eden, click here to purchase tickets to her upcoming Stratford Writers Festival panel entitled History and the Need to Heal with authors Lee Maracle and Drew Hayden Taylor, and the CBC’s Candy Palmater.

When did you realize that Son of a Trickster was going to be a full-length novel and not the 10-page story you originally envisioned? 

Once it hit 400 pages and I hadn’t introduced the antagonist yet, I realized it was probably not a short story.  About 2 years into the process!

What is the key to getting more Indigenous literature into the hands of Canadians? 

Exposure.  We have a rich and diverse writing community, but our audience has been very small.  This seems to be a breakthrough year, with so many Indigenous writers on prize lists.

Why do you feel it’s important to meet readers at events such as the Stratford Writers Festival? 

Meeting readers is personally validating.  I live in the community I grew up in, and my family and friends can be a little blase about my writing.  In fact, since Monkey Beach is on the high school curriculum, I get a lot of complaints about how long my novels are from younger cousins.  It’s amazing to meet people who are excited to read your work!

What is your favourite part about attending writers festivals or literary events?

All the lovely conversations about books!

Are you working on any projects right now?

I just finished the sequel, Trickster Drift, and will spend 2018 writing the first draft of the final novel in the trilogy, The Return of the Trickter.  Then I plan on going back to the novel I was working on before the tricksters took over my life—my Trashy, Band Council Romance.


To hear more, don’t miss Eden’s panel entitled History and the Need to Heal on Saturday October 21, 2017, at 3:00 pm at the Stratford Writers Festival. See you there!

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