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Weyburn author shortlisted for Glengarry Book Award

Weyburn author Anne Lazurko was shortlisted for the Glengarry Book Award, for her latest novel, “What is Written on the Tongue.”

WEYBURN – Weyburn author Anne Lazurko was shortlisted for the Glengarry Book Award, for her latest novel, “What is Written on the Tongue.”

Launched by the Saskatchewan Foundation For the Arts in June of 2021, the Glengarry Book Award supports Saskatchewan’s literary culture. The $20,000 prize celebrates authors with Saskatchewan roots, and the 2022 award celebrates nationally recognized Canadian author Guy Vanderhaeghe.

The award was the vision of donor and book-lover Claire Kramer, a founding trustee of the Saskatchewan Foundation for the Arts (SFFA). The Glengarry Book Award is an annual award for a first edition English language novel or book of short fiction.

Managed and administered by the SFFA, The Glengarry Book Award selects its jury from a pool of Canadian authors and Canadian literary publishers and organizations. The 2022 jury included award-winning author Marina Endicott, Freehand Books Submissions Co-ordinator Debbie Willis, and published writer, Senator Patricia Bovey.

Shortlisted novels are Lee Gowan’s The Beautiful Place, praised by the jury for its original and compelling writing, engaging characters, breadth of literary imagination, as well as its subtle humour; and Lazurko’s What Is Written on the Tongue, for its solid writing, diligent research, and ambitious transitions through the historical periods of the main character’s lived experience.

“The shortlist recognizes ‘literary excellence’ and the award is for writers living in, or with roots in, Saskatchewan. There are so many good books that have come out of this province and its writers including in 2022, so this recognition of What Is Written on the Tongue means a lot,” said Lazurko of the honour.

Lazurko is the author of Dollybird (Coteau/ Shadowpaw Press reprise 2023) which received the Willa Award for historical fiction. With short fiction and poetry published in literary magazines and anthologies, Anne is an active editor, teacher and mentor in the prairie writing community. An award-winning agricultural journalist and no-awards, but damn good, farmer, Anne writes from her farm near Weyburn.

Her novel, What is Written on the Tongue, is the story of one man’s journey through two very different wars, from being occupied to holding the gun, from having an enemy to becoming one.

Released from Nazi forced labour as the Second World War ends, 20-year-old Sam is quickly drafted and sent to the island of Java to help regain control of the colony. But the Indonesian independence movement is far ahead of the Dutch and Sam is thrown into a guerilla war, his loyalties challenged when his squad commits atrocities reminiscent of those he suffered at the hands of the Nazis. Sam falls in love with both Sari and the beautiful island she calls home, but as he loses friends to sniper fire and jungle malady, he also loses sight of what he wants most – to be a good man.