The Girl in Saskatoon: A Meditation on Friendship, Memory and Murder (HarperCollins, 2008), a nonfiction work about, among other things, the unsolved murder in Saskatoon, back in 1962, of a young woman with whom Butala attended high school. It was an event that shook the city to its core and which no one has been able to forget. Butala probes the background to this fact, and in this book, also examines a forward-looking pioneer society.
Butala is working on a new novel with the working title Blue Dome of Sky, her first since 1998 and The Garden of Eden.
Always most interested in the lives of women, she is working to reinterpret the West, telling the familiar stories from a different point of view, and adding the ones that nobody tells because they are too shocking, or too unpleasant, or appear to shed too bad a light on rural Western societies. They are the ones, she believes, that will at last round out the story of the settlement era in the West, and will point the way to the future.