***2022 BMO WINTERSET AWARD – WINNER***
The Raw Light of Morning is a powerful debut novel about women and children finding humour and love in the aftermath of domestic violence.
Fourteen-year-old Laurel Long does something unimaginable. In a house at the back end of Woods Road, she commits an act of violence that alters the course of her life. Laurel finds herself living in Stephenville, a small town on Newfoundland’s west coast, trapped in a system of poverty and generational neglect, haunted by trauma. Laurel needs a fresh start, and education is her ticket out, but when her past starts to catch up with her, she must decide how far she will go to protect herself and the ones she loves.
About the author
Shelly Kawaja’s writing has appeared in several journals and literary magazines, such as the Humber Literary Review, the Dalhousie Review, Post-Colonial Text, and PACE. Her short story “Shotgun” won the gritLit 2020 fiction contest. Shelly has an MA from Memorial University and is currently completing an MFA in creative writing at UBC. She lives in Norris Point and manages the Writers at Woody Point literary festival, which happens every summer on the other side of Bonne Bay Pond. On nice days she Sea-Doos to work.
- Winner, BMO Winterset Award
“This debut novel is gripping, spot-on in detail and tone, visceral and lovely. Skillfully paced, the traumatic opening scenes never overwhelm the ensuing action and developments, and what follows is engrossing, authentic and never too on-the-nose.”
“. . . so real and powerful. The themes of the book are a reality for far too many people . . .”
Consumed by Ink