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.
“My heart cracks with what I have lost. With these words, Sharon Butala expresses the pain of losing her husband and her spiritual home in the grasslands of southwestern Saskatchewan. This beautiful, sorrowful elegy to Peter and the land of which they were stewards is filled with wisdom, and is truly a gift to her readers. I loved this book.”
PRAISE FOR THE GIRL IN SASKATOON
“A meditation so hauntingly intense that it will touch and connect all those who read it.”
PRAISE FOR THE PERFECTION OF THE MORNING
“One of the most perceptive and moving meditations ever written…on that mysterious and often misunderstood presence that we call nature.”
“Honest as ever, Sharon Butala spares nothing in this account of life without her husband . . . a heart-wrenching and heart-opening book.”
“The Perfection of the Morning speaks of the peace to be had by simply walking and listening in nature… We could use eloquent guides to get us there, guides such as Sharon Butala.”
“A striking new book . . . perhaps among the finest in Butala’s impressive body of work.”
"Few readers will be immune to the appeal of Butala’s memoir, with its evocation of a beautiful landscape and a demanding but rewarding way of life.”
“This is what we have come to expect from Sharon Butala. An articulation of love, hard and true and honest. A consistent attempt to probe and comprehend the life and land around her, the mystery of spirit, of nature, the meaning of grief. I was moved to tears by Butala’s strong, sure voice.”
“In this masterful and achingly beautiful memoir, Sharon Butala seeks to answer the question ‘What is a human life worth?’ She makes discoveries about the ancient connection between land, history, animals, humans, time and spirit with an insight that is almost impossible to put into words. This is a book that chronicles a life of exploration into the inner self, the outer natural world and the intricate, ineffable connection between the two.”