Sharon Butala is the award-winning author of numerous works of fiction, non-fiction, short stories, poetry, and plays. Wild Rose is her first book since her Globe & Mail bestseller The Girl in Saskatoon was published in 2008. Her first book, Country of the Heart, was published in 1984 and won the Books in Canada First Novel Award. Since then, she has been shortlisted for both the Commonwealth Prize and the Governor General’s Award – for her fiction and nonfiction. She has also been the recipient of the Marian Engel Award, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, and the Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence, among others. Butala’s work has been published in newspapers, magazines, and literary magazines across Canada, and she has given readings around the world. She is a Member of the Order of Canada. Butala was born in an outpost hospital in Nipawin, Saskatchewan. After graduating from the University of Saskatchewan, she taught English in Saskatchewan and British Columbia and also taught in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She eventually returned to Saskatoon, before moving to Eastend, Saskatchewan, with her husband Peter Butala in 1976. She currently resides in Calgary, Alberta.
This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.
“The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an extraordinary document, a story about the extremes of human behavior existing side by side: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love. I find it hard to imagine anyone who would not be drawn in, confronted and moved. I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone, whether they’d read a hundred Holocaust stories or none.”—Graeme Simsion, internationally-bestselling author of The Rosie Project
In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.
One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.
A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.
Fever is a collection of sixteen short stories that reveal the secret inner lives of women and men, skilfully peeling back their defenses to expose crystallizing moments of joy, pain, fear, and guiltless pleasure. Sharon Butala infuses Fever with an intensity of emotion that often catches readers off guard, making for a reading experience that is always honest and powerful.
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