Sunday, February 5, 2023

Dollybird, WILLA Award-winning historical novel by Anne Lazurko is back in print from Shadowpaw Press


Dollybird, WILLA Award-winning historical novel by Glengarry Book Prize finalist
Anne Lazurko (What is Written on the Tongue) back in print from  Shadowpaw Press


Dollybird, the WILLA Literary Award-winning first historical novel by Anne Lazurko, whose latest book, What is Written on the Tongue (ECW Press), was a finalist for the 2022 Glengarry Book Prize, now has a new home with Shadowpaw Press Reprise, which publishes new editions of notable, previously published work. 

“I am so grateful to have Dollybird given a new life by Shadowpaw Press,” says Lazurko. “To have these characters and this story available to new readers is simply a gift; to me as an author and, hopefully, to those readers who can now find it in the format of their choice.” 

“I’m thrilled to be able to make Dollybird available to new readers,” says Edward Willett, editor and publisher of Shadowpaw Press. “This book’s complex, enthralling characters and sharply observed setting in the early homesteading years of Saskatchewan linger with you long after you’ve finished reading.” 

Dollybird is available for order through most bookstores, online or off. It can also be purchased directly from Shadowpaw Press at 

More about the book 

Winner: 2014 WILLA Literary Award for historical fiction

Shortlisted: 2014 Fiction Award, Saskatchewan Book Awards 

Twenty-year-old Moira, the daughter of a Newfoundland doctor, dreams of becoming a doctor herself; but when she becomes pregnant out of wedlock, she is banished to the bleak landscape of southern Saskatchewan in 1906. There, she must come to terms with her predicament, her pioneer environment, and her employment as a “dollybird,” a term applied to women who might be housekeepers, whores—or both. A saga of birth, death, and the violent potential of both men and the elements, Dollybird explores the small mercies that mean more than they should under a vast prairie sky that waits, not so quietly, for people to fail. 

Critical praise 

“An absolutely stunning novel . . . I’ve reviewed some 4,000 books for the Sun-Times in the past 20 years; only a few times did something new glue me like this one. Dollybird. Very nice.” - Andrew Armitage, Book Editor for The Sun-Times


Dollybird is a page-turner. Every character is fully realized, crippled by pains specific and universal. The writing is shot through with poetry, even the landscape is rendered harsh and graceful in the same moment . . . Such a cast of characters- everyone steps off the page, even those we only catch a glimpse of . . . Dollybird covered me in dust and mud; the pages are intoned with every kind of love: the absent, the lost, the yearning, the found. Read Dollybird. - Katherine Lawrence, award winning writer and poet (author of Stay)


Dollybird explores human relationships: parents and children, men and women, siblings and female friends, and how these connections are further complicated in the face of an indifferent, unpredictable natural environment . . . Lazurko’s straightforward prose transports the reader to early 20th-century Canada . . . Her characters are well-developed, flawed and frightened” - Laurie Glenn Norris for the Telegraph-Journal


“The novel’s strength lies in its glimpses into not only the hardship but also the tight sense of community that marked pioneering men and women . . . Lazurko’s title speaks to the confining roles women were permitted to have as the West was ‘'settled’ and to the difficulties women faced when they, like Moira, tried to resist them.”The Coastal Spectator

About the Author

Anne Lazurko’s second novel, What is Written on the Tongue, was released in the spring of 2022 by ECW Press, and was shortlisted for the 2022 Glengarry Book Award. A graduate of the Humber Creative Writing Program, Anne has had short fiction and poetry published in literary magazines and anthologies and is active in the prairie writing community as mentor, editor, and teacher. She writes from her farm near Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Her website is

About the Publisher

Shadowpaw Press, founded in Regina, Saskatchewan, by award-winning author Edward Willett in 2018, publishes new work by established and emerging authors through its Premiere imprint and new editions of notable, previously published work through its Reprise imprint. For more information, contact or visit 

Anne Lazurko is available for interviews, media appearances, speaking engagements, and/or book review requests. Please contact by email or by phone at 403.464.6925

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