Sharon Butala – update on a new book

Sharon Butala was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in Oct. 2015. She’s back now to tell us about a new non-fiction book just being released.

Where I Live Now: A Journey through Love and Loss to Healing and Hope
by Sharon Butala
Published by Simon & Schuster Canada
Genre: Memoir

An intimate and uplifting book about finding renewal and hope through grief and loss.

“It was a terrible life; it was an enchanted life; it was a blessed life. And, of course, one day it ended.” — Sharon Butala

In the tradition of Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, Diana Athill’s Somewhere Towards the End, and Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal comes a revelatory new book from one of our beloved writers.

When Sharon Butala’s husband, Peter, died unexpectedly, she found herself with no place to call home. Torn by grief and loss, she fled the ranchlands of southwest Saskatchewan and moved to the city, leaving almost everything behind. A lifetime of possessions was reduced to a few boxes of books, clothes, and keepsakes. But a lifetime of experience went with her, and a limitless well of memory—of personal failures, of a marriage that everybody said would not last but did, of the unbreakable bonds of family.

Reinventing herself in an urban landscape was painful, and facing her new life as a widow tested her very being. Yet out of this hard-won new existence comes an astonishingly frank, compassionate and moving memoir that offers not only solace and hope but inspiration to those who endure profound loss.

Often called one of this country’s true visionaries, Sharon Butala shares her insights into the grieving process and reveals the small triumphs and funny moments that kept her going. Where I Live Now is profound in its understanding of the many homes women must build for themselves in a lifetime.

An Evening with Sharon Butala
Tuesday Apr 11 2017 7:00 pm, Winnipeg, Grant Park in the Atrium
McNally Robinson Booksellers

Where to purchase Sharon’s book:
Simon & Schuster Canada
Amazon Canada
Chapters Indigo
Independent bookstores across Canada
Amazon UK

News from Sharon:
I have been invited to be a keynote speaker at a small conference in Boise, Idaho whose theme is “Wallace Stegner and the Consciousness of Place.” It is hosted by the Idaho Humanities Council, will be held at the Boise State University July 16-21, and is for K-12 teachers. I’m invited because of my connection to Stegner and his family home in Eastend, Saskatchewan, a place about which he wrote Wolf Willow: A History, A Story, and a Memory of the Last Plains Frontier. As I too, have written about that world but from a purely Canadian perspective, we share a lot, but we also diverge because he went back to the United States to live out his long life, and because he was a man, and didn’t see the Western world quite as I do. I am truly looking forward to this adventure, and not least because years ago on a writing trip, I spent a night there and did a reading and thought I’d never seen a place in the US I thought prettier or more green or more peaceful. I have always wanted to see it again. And besides, once you begin to age you start to see that the small adventures are often much richer than the big ones, that tends to just knock you for a loop.

Sharon Butala

Sharon3 Sharon Butala

What is your latest release and what genre is it? A novel: Wild Rose, published by Coteau Books

Quick description: Sophie is a young Quebecoise who comes west in 1884 to homestead with her new young husband Pierre in hopes of escaping a life she finds stifling and in search of freedom. But by the time their son is three Pierre has deserted leaving her destitute, with no one to turn to and with a child to raise. Determined to hang onto her dignity and her integrity and to save her child from a blighted life caused by her failure, she takes every ounce of her courage and intelligence and all her physical strength, and slowly makes her way, honourably, on her own in a mostly hostile and unforgiving environment, one that leaves no margin for mistakes. On this hard road she learns, finally, what it takes to be an independent, whole woman.


Brief biography:
Sharon Butala is the author of seventeen books. Wild Rose is her seventh novel, she has published three short story collections and seven works of nonfiction, the best known of which is probably the bestselling memoir The Perfection of the Morning (HarperCollins Canada, 1994). For more than thirty years she lived on a cattle ranch in southwest Saskatchewan but a year after her husband Peter’s 2007 death she moved to Calgary to be near her grandchildren and there she remains. She has won many prizes and awards for her work, including the Marian Engel Award and most recently, the Kloppenburg Award for Literary Achievement. She has been invested in the Saskatchewan Order of Merit and is an Officer in the Order of Canada.

Links to buy Sharon’s first name book:
It is obtainable from: Coteau Books (follow the links) or from your nearest independent bookstore, in Calgary: Shelf Life Books, Pages in Kensington or Owl’s Nest Books.

Sharon’s promo links:

What are you working on now?
I am currently working on a novel set in the present whose protagonist, Gen, is sixty-five, facing retirement and struggling to finally remember, admit to, understand, and integrate a confusing and troubled past while also dealing with the lives of her grown daughters, AND a work of non-fiction with Simon and Schuster called so far, Taking On the Day about women and aging, which is a memoir to follow the story told in The Perfection of the Morning.

Readers might also be interested to know that there is a manuscript of the rest of Sophie’s life from Wild Rose on that might some day be published too.

Sharon’s reading recommendation:
I am currently reading several of the batch of fall novels and I think so far I have most enjoyed Dianne Warren’s Liberty Street (HarperCollins Publishers, 2015.)