Weyburn area author, Anne Lazurko, was recently jury short-listed for the 2022 Glengarry Book Award for her novel, What is Written on the Tongue.
The $20,000 Glengarry Book Award was designed to support Saskatchewan's literary culture and was created by the Saskatchewan Foundation for the Arts (SFFA) in June of 2021.
It's an annual award for a first-edition English language novel or book of short fiction.
Lazurko's novel was praised by the jury for its solid writing, diligent research, and what the SFFA said were "ambitious transitions through the historical periods of the main character’s lived experience."
She shared, "If you look at the information, it says' jury short-listed for literary excellence,' and so that makes me feel very, very good because there were three books short-listed. So there was mine, and Lee Gowan's The Beautiful Place, and then Guy Vanderhaeghe, his really wonderful novel, August Into Winter, won the award."
"To be short-listed with that kind of talent is quite an honor for me, and even just to be short-listed at all. There are a lot of good writers coming out of Saskatchewan."
She explained that the award is for an author who published a book in 2022, and who either lives in Saskatchewan or has roots in the province.
Lazurko said the book is set in Indonesia during the Indonesian war of independence, which involved a ton of research.
"It's loosely based on my dad, actually. It was with Dutch forces in Indonesia after the Second World War, and when they were trying to reclaim the colony after the Second World War. So that's the basic story, but it's the story of one young man trying to navigate that whole trauma of being in Nazi-occupied Holland and within a year being sent to Indonesia to occupy that country."
"I travelled to Indonesia for a month with my sister," Lazurko explained about the writing process. "Feeling the heat and being in the jungle and doing research there was, I couldn't have written the book without that."
Lazurko added that an author loves for people to read their work because it matters to them, but she said that she really loves "going to book clubs and talking about it and sharing that, you know, and seeing what people think about it and those kinds of things. Being recognized by your peers for these kinds of awards is really great too."
What is Written on the Tongue is available in bookstores in Saskatchewan and on Amazon, as well as in ebook and audio book formats.