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Fiction Literary


by (author) Amy Spurway

Goose Lane Editions
Initial publish date
Apr 2019
Literary, Humorous
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2019
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2019
    List Price
  • Downloadable audio file

    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
    List Price
  • Downloadable audio file

    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
    List Price

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Winner, IPPY Award for Best First Book - Fiction and Margaret and John Savage First Book Award for Fiction
Runner-up, Leacock Medal for Humour
Shortlisted, Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award and Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for Literary Fiction
Long-Shortlisted, 2020 Relit Award (Novel Category)

When Stacey Fortune is diagnosed with three highly unpredictable — and inoperable — brain tumours, she abandons the crumbling glamour of her life in Toronto for her mother Effie's scruffy trailer in rural Cape Breton. Back home, she's known as Crow, and everybody suspects that her family is cursed.

With her future all but sealed, Crow decides to go down in a blaze of unforgettable glory by writing a memoir that will raise eyebrows and drop jaws. She'll dig up "the dirt" on her family tree, including the supposed curse, and uncover the truth about her mysterious father, who disappeared a month before she was born.

But first, Crow must contend with an eclectic assortment of characters, including her gossipy Aunt Peggy, hedonistic party-pal Char, homebound best friend Allie, and high-school flame Willy. She'll also have to figure out how to live with her mother and how to muddle through the unsettling visual disturbances that are becoming more and more vivid each day.

Witty, energetic, and crackling with sharp Cape Breton humour, Crow is a story of big twists, big personalities, big drama, and even bigger heart.

About the author

Amy Spurway was born and raised on Cape Breton, where, at the age of 11, she landed her first writing and performing gigs with CBC Radio. She has worked as a communications consultant, editor, speech-writer, and performer. Her writing has appeared in Today's Parent, the Toronto Star, Babble, and Elephant Journal. She lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Amy Spurway's profile page


  • Winner, Margaret and John Savage First Book Award for Fiction
  • Winner, IPPY Award for Best First Book - Fiction
  • Short-listed, Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for Literary Fiction
  • Short-listed, Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award
  • Short-listed, Relit Award (Novel Category)
  • Runner-up, Leacock Medal for Humour

Editorial Reviews

"Tender, raw, and compassionate, Crow tackles the life-changing events thrown at her and muscles them down to her control, leaving readers breathless in the face of her honesty and hard-earned truths."

Donna Morrissey

"Amy Spurway comes out swinging with this raw, unflinching, and emotionally urgent debut novel. Be forewarned, Crow is as empowering and comic as it is unsettling and disarming. I love it."

Joel Thomas Hynes

"Ridiculously good."

<i>Globe and Mail</i>

"Crow delighted me and amazed me the further I read, with its freshness, its daring, its refusal to conform (and the projectile vomiting)."

<i>Pickle Me This</i>

"I think Crow is great. It depicts a side of Cape Breton populated by characters that are flawed and achingly real. It's poignant and funny."

Lesley Crewe

"Engaging, relentlessly entertaining and written with enormous passion and great wit. Crow is a notable debut, and Amy Spurway is a writer worth watching."

<i>The Fiddlehead</i>

"How can you resolve the sharpness of tragedy into a fairy-tale ending? Somehow, Spurway manages it. But even if she lays the sentimentality on pretty thick, she also proves even a Crow's laughter can be pretty infectious."

<i>Winnipeg Free Press</i>

"Spurway's use of language is skilful, making the novel highly readable. Crow is ribald, blunt, accessible, and immediately likeable, tumours and all ... You know how people say, "You'll laugh, you'll cry"? You will. And you will."

<i>Quill & Quire</i>

"Angry, petty, disillusioned, sharp-tongued, battered and bruised by the years, prone to snap decisions and judgments, and yet not a little scared of dying at 40, she's a complex and contradictory figure whose narrating tones relay very human traits — fallibility and indomitability, blindness and insight — via homespun, salty language."

<i>Toronto Star</i>

"There is dark desperation and there is the lightness of hope."

<i>Canadian Literature</i>

"The most hilarious book I’ve ever read, a narrative voice that gets locked in your head, and a story full of twists and turns and surprises."

<i>All Lit Up</i>

"Amy Spurway catches perfectly the engine that is Cape Breton Island. Her cast of divine lunatics, pogey-scammers, gossips, and big-hearted rebels, revealed through Spurway's lively and lucid prose, proves that Cape Breton is still the thought-control centre of Canada."

Wayne Grady

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