Monkey Beach Selected for Trent Reads 2011


Students, faculty, staff and alumni vote for Eden Robinson’s novel to be read by all new Trent students in fall 2011

February 22, 2011, Peterborough

Trent University students, faculty, staff and alumni have selected Eden Robinson’s highly praised novel, Monkey Beach, to be read by all new Trent students as part of Trent Reads 2011, after an open call for nominations, a public defence of five short-listed books and a week-long online voting period.

“I want to encourage everyone at Trent to read Monkey Beach,” said Dr. Jocelyn Aubrey, associate dean of undergraduate studies and chair of the Trent Reads committee. “This book grabs your attention and makes you think, not only about the tragic events that shaped the lives of the characters in the book and about the hauntingly beautiful part of Canada in which they lived, but about yourself and the people, places and events that made you who you are. I look forward to discussions about the book with new students in the fall.”

To help members of the Trent community choose their favourite book, the Trent Reads website featured videos from each book’s nominators and links to reviews, and The Battle of the Books event was held at Trent on February 3, during which each of five student champions defended their choice for the book.


Monkey Beach is Trent Reads’ first book by afemale author. Ms. Robinson, now a Vancouver resident, grew up in a Haisla community near Kitamaat, B.C., where Monkey Beach is set. Her previous collection of stories, Traplines, won the Winifred Holtby Prize for the best first work of fiction in the Commonwealth, and was a New York Times Editor's Choice and Notable Book of the Year.

Trent Reads, an initiative launched in 2008, is designed to bring the Trent community together by creating a common ground for discussion. It also aims to give new students an academic experience that they can all be a part of before they actually begin classes. Joseph Boyden’s award-winning novel Three Day Road was chosen for the inaugural Trent Reads in 2008, followed by Lawrence Hill’s acclaimed The Book of Negroes in 2009 and Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers in 2010.

All new students registered at Trent for the 2011-12 academic year will read Monkey Beach prior to arriving in September. During Introductory Seminar Week (ISW) in Peterborough, seminars consisting of small groups of 20 or fewer students, and led by Trent faculty in a variety of departments and programs, will provide a forum for new students to discuss the book. In Oshawa, discussion seminars will take place during the first few weeks of the fall term.

For more information about Trent Reads and to view video clips from book nominators and student champions, visit the Trent Reads website,

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For more information, please contact: Dr. Jocelyn Aubrey, associate dean of undergraduate studies and chair of the Trent Reads committee, Trent University, 705-748-1011 ext. 6080,