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Breakwater Books

The Raw Light of Morning - Shelly Kawaja

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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.   

Shelly Kawaja is the author of The Raw Light of Morning. Her work has appeared in several magazines such as Horseshoe Literary Magazine, The Humber Literary Review, The Dalhousie Review, and PACE. She was long listed for the Bridge Prize, the Writer’s Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Fresh Fish Award, and won the GritLIT short fiction contest. Shelly is a creative writing student in the University of British Columbia’s optional residency MFA program, and a graduate of The Humber School for Writers, and Memorial University of Newfoundland. She lives in Corner Brook with her family.