Sharon Butala is the author of nineteen books of fiction and nonfiction, numerous essays and articles, some poetry and five produced plays. She published her first novel in 1984, Country of the Heart, which was nominated for the Books in Canada First Novel Award, followed closely by a collection of short stories, Queen of the Headaches. She was born in Nipawin, Saskatchewan. After graduating from the University of Saskatchewan, she taught English in Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Nova Scotia. She eventually returned to Saskatoon, before moving near Eastend, Saskatchewan, to live on her husband, Peter Butala’s ranch. Sharon’s books have been on the Canadian bestseller lists, including her memoir, The Perfection of the Morning, which reached #1 in July 1994 and remained on the list for over a year. Most recently, Wild Rose was also on the bestseller lists. Sharon has read all over Canada and in the United States as well as in Mexico, the Czech Republic, and Ireland. She has been a guest at nearly every literary festival in Canada and some US festivals, as well as teaching literally dozens of writing workshops. Sharon has been a guest at the “Geography of Hope” conference on Wallace Stegner, at Point Reyes Station, California. She has also been a guest speaker at Speak to the Wild: a multi-disciplinary gathering dedicated to the politics and poetics of wilderness, at Wells Gray Provincial Park, BC. She is also in demand as a lecturer, having spoken recently at the Edmonton Jung Forum, the Banff Centre for the Arts Book Discussion Weekend, the “Books ‘n’ Brunch” series in Toronto, the UBC and Hollyhock’s “Summer Speakers’ Series” in Vancouver, the Vancouver Institute, and was a keynote speaker at the narratology conference at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick, among other engagements. Sharon has also been a keynote speaker at the International Grasslands conference and delivered the inaugural annual lecture at University of Saskatchewan Creative Writing program.
That is until a brown manila envelope turns up under her door and Fiona once again finds herself embroiled in the midst of a controversy so intricate and tangled that one wrong move could be her undoing.
Inspired by the unsolved murder of a young girl in 1962 in Saskatoon, Zara’s Dead is the fictional retelling of a very real story, one that has captivated the public and eluded answers for decades.