Sharon Butala was born in Nipawin, Saskatchewan, in 1940. She was educated in small towns in Saskatoon, and at the University of Saskatchewan. Butala gave up work as a Special Educator to become a novelist, short story writer, and writer of creative non-fiction. Her book, The Perfection of the Morning reached number one on the bestseller list in July '94. She is one of Canada's most acclaimed authors. Her first short story collection, Queen of the Headaches, was shortlisted for a Governor General's Award in 1986. Her trilogy of novels, The Gates of the Sun, Luna, and The Fourth Archangel, formed an evocative and highly praised portrait of prairie life. Her most recent short story… collection, Fever, won the 1992 Authors Awards for Paperback Fiction. Her first non-fiction work, Perfection of the Morning, was nominated for a Governor General's Award and won the Saskatchewan non-Fiction Award and The Spirit of Saskatchewan Award in 1994.
Michael O'Brien is professor of American intellectual history at the University of Cambridge, a fellow of Jesus College, and a fellow of the British Academy. He is author or editor of several books on Southern intellectual history and, most recently, of <i>Mrs. Adams in Winter: A Journey in the Last Days of Napoleon</i>.