City Wolves    

 A moving historical tale and remarkable literary achievement, City Wolves is the story of Canada’s first woman veterinarian, Meg Wilkinson. Born in 1870 on a farm near Halifax, Meg’s childhood experience with wolves makes her determined to become a veterinarian. Supported by the seemingly eccentric Randolph Oliphant and inspired by ancient Inuit who first turned wolves into sled dogs, Meg surpasses the horse doctors at vet college and  becomes the notorious ‘Dog Doctor of Halifax’ in the 1890s. After her unusual marriage ends abruptly in Boston, Meg travels to Vancouver and up to the Yukon, seeking the legendary sled dogs. Arriving at the beginning of the Klondike gold rush, she makes her way amidst Mounties, dance hall girls, Klondike Kings, mushers, priests and swindlers…all the mangy and magnificent people, dogs and spirits that populated raucous Dawson City.

Observed through the restless spirit of Inuit Ike, this is lively, insightful, historical fiction, subtly revealing the wolf-like nature of humans and the human nature of wolves. Both earthy and reflective, City Wolves is an important story told with compassion, humour and unflinching realism. In this her fifth novel, Dorris Heffron has created a wide range of unforgettable characters and achieved a breadth of vision exploring the deep conflicts and interconnection of social beings in a way that is uniquely Canadian  and profoundly universal. 


                                        Now in  paperback

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    Acclaim for  City Wolves

 “Historical romance, pioneering feminism, Inuit spirit guides, wolves, dogs, real people mingling with fictional ones, a fresh take on the Klondike gold rush...this is entertainment. An indominatable heroine takes city wolves into the wilderness and makes them howl. I for one could not stop listening.”                                 

    Ken McGoogan, Pierre Berton History Prize winner, author of Fatal Passage  and Race to the Polar Sea


“Dorris Heffron has illuminated a fascinating and little-known aspect of human behaviour – the degree to which humans have modeled their social structure on that of wolves – and turned it into story. City Wolves is a wonderful blend of fiction and history, natural and unnatural: high art indeed!”

   Wayne Grady, Naturalist, author of The Nature of Coyotes


City Wolves takes the truth of good biography and runs with it imaginatively into a gripping narrative. Meticulous research leads Heffron to give life to a neglected theory about who really first discovered the gold that started the Klondike gold rush. With its compelling portrayals of historical characters like Kate Carmack, Belinda Mulroney and their cohorts in Dawson City , this novel opens up a new vista in historical fiction.”

   Jennifer Duncan, author of Frontier Spirit, biographies of women of the Klondike.


“An insightful exploration of the profound and mysterious relationship between people and wolf-dogs…archetypal tensions spurring the plot along… A marvelous work! I look forward to it becoming a Canadian classic.”

   Rosemary Gosselin  BJ, MSW, NCPsyA, Jungian Psychoanalyst


“An engrossing work of historical fiction…filled with strong voices and thrilling moments, the novel hearkens back to the glory days of historical writing and is comparable to some of Canada's finest literary voices such as Margaret Laurence and Margaret Atwood…a warm and wonderful tale…mixes fact with fiction and creates a most memorable volume.”

 Paul Suttner, Shelf Life


“Wolves, gold, pioneers, prospectors, pick axes, romance, dog sleds, log cabins, Mounties, mountains and Malamutes come together to make an authentic and riveting Canadian adventure….The read is easy, but the digestion lasts long after the pages are turned. The real-life aspect of the story makes it a compelling and authentic tale.”

 Erika Engel, The Courier Herald

“A great big fat historical novel….City Wolves is a sparkling good read.”

  Andrew Armitage, The Owen Sound Sun Times

“At its core, Dorris Heffron's latest novel is about the secret lives of wolves and how they relate to humans. Fascinating stuff. There's more to this novel, of course…Heffron delivers a story of ideas and heart.”

  January Magazine Editor's Pick

“This is a truly wonderful read! City Wolves – a work of Historical Fiction, Wilderness Culture- unforgettable characters. I loved it!”

  Deena Dolan Findlay, Escarpment Magazine

“Found it so compelling…read all 450 pages in one day.”

  Ken Chisholm, The Cape Breton Post

“McNally Robinson added Heffron's book to its top five best selling fiction hardcovers at the Winnipeg store. City Wolves is on the bestseller list among other titles by Margaret Atwood,   Nicholas Sparks and Alice Munro.”


                                 Dorris at Little Creek Wolf Range with Yukon's Jake and Yukitu (Nov. 2008)


                                                                                                                                                                                                                    photo by Erika Engel