Monkey Beach by Indigenous Author Eden Robinson

Indigenous Author Eden Robinson

Monkey Beach is a supernatural mystery novel written by the Indigenous author Eden Robinson. It was published by Vintage Canada in 2000, being Eden’s first novel. It was the recipient of the 2001 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, which is given to work by writers from British Columbia, and was a shortlisted nominee for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award for English-language fiction.

Indigenous Author
Eden Robinson

The story of Monkey Beach is relayed through the eyes of Lisamarie Hill, a feisty young woman. Lisamarie’s brother, Jimmy, has gone missing at sea under questionable circumstances. Lisamarie reflects on profound events in her life, as she waits on news of her brother. Perhaps in reflecting on these formidable events, a new light will be shed on the ominous circumstances in her life, and within the community of Kitamaat. The introduction of various memorable characters allows the reader to fully grasp the richness of Lisamarie’s tale. Lisamarie possesses the abilities to see and communicate with other worldly beings. These abilities are a source of contention, yet they will eventually satiate the turmoil in her life. The struggle between the physical plane and the supernatural realm also correlates with a greater struggle between cultural identity and mainstream society. In all of this, Lisamarie is led on a journey to understand the disappearance of her brother and come to terms with her identity.

Location and animal symbolism plays a large part in First Nations literature. Animals are used as symbols of the ancestors or as warnings and messengers from the spirit world to those still living. The locations in Monkey Beach play a large part in the emotional progression of the characters. Throughout this and her following books Robinson uses all the natural elements to weave the culture of the land into the story.

spaghetti western album