Image by Cynthia Sguazzin
The single most salient fact about my life as a writer is the degree of steady isolation from the urban literary world in which I've lived it. This began in 1976 when I married my cowboy-rancher husband and came to his ranch in far southwestern Saskatchewan to live. The rural agrarian way of life I found, set in the midst of a starkly beautiful landscape - hoodoos, badlands, coulees, and vast acres of softly rolling native grassland - the extremes of weather and climate, and the unique sub-culture they combined to produce, created in me my first writerly desire: to tell the world what I was discovering. Humans and land and animals locked together in uneasy cohabitation.
I found it all moving and terrible, at its best and worst reaching through the layers of cultural artifice - televisionland, country and western culture, agribusiness, and Euro-Canadian ancestor worship - to the depths of the human condition. I did not love it, often I hated it, but even then I could not wrench my eyes and my heart away. Nor my pen.
Sharon Butala is the author of sixteen books of both fiction and nonfiction, numerous essays and articles, some poetry and five produced plays.
She is represented by Westwood Creative Artists, Toronto, Canada.