Books·Canadian

Season of Fury and Wonder

A collection of short stories by Sharon Butala.

Sharon Butala

The season of fury and wonder, in Sharon Butala's world, is the old age of women. These stories present the lives of old women — women of experience, who've seen much of life, who've tasted of its sweetness and its bitter possibilities, and have developed opinions and come to conclusions about what it all amounts to. These are stories of today's old women, who understand that they have been created by their pasts.

But there's another layer to this standard-setting example of "cronelit." Not content to rest on her considerable literary laurels, Sharon Butala continues to push the boundaries of her art. The stories in Season of Fury and Wonder are all reactions to other, classic, works of literature that she has encountered and admired. These stories are, in their various ways, inspired by and tributes to works by the likes of Raymond Carver, Willa Cather, James Joyce, Shirley Jackson, Flannery O'Conner, John Cheever, Alan Sillitoe, Ernest Hemingway, Tim O'Brien, Edgar Allan Poe and Anton Checkov. (From Coteau Books)

Season of Fury and Wonder was on the 2019 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize shortlist.

From the book

When my sister Jaimie's husband was close to death I went to the city where they lived to see him. My three brothers and two other sisters and I had been emailing each other for some time, occasionally phoning — we are too old, the bunch of us, to text, or tweet or whatever, we find these methods of communication insulting — so when their two diagnoses of cancer finally came, none of us was surprised. A collective silence held across the provinces in our different houses, each of us looking out our windows at our own landscapes — city, ocean, forest — each of us trying desperately to think, as if thinking could solve what wasn't even properly a problem, or that we might thereby enter a new dimension where the news would be ordinary and reasonable, and out of which we could decide how to behave, and what attitude to take that would be natural and obvious.


From Season of Fury and Wonder by Sharon Butala ©2019. Published by Coteau Books.

Other books by Sharon Butala

Interviews with Sharon Butala

The author of "Where I Live Now: A Journey Through Love and Loss to Healing and Hope" on her greatest fear, her idea of perfect happiness and more. 5:43
Author Sharon Butala has been thinking a lot about ageing lately, and the way we talk and think about older people - like her. Her new short story collection, "Season of Fury and Wonder," is all about the lives of old women. She spoke to Daybreak guest host Kathryn Marlow. 16:04

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.