Update for 2018:
Presentation on The Widow’s Fire and Jane Austen: Shelf Life Books, Calgary, Alberta, March 10, 2-4 pm.
Latest novel: The Widow’s Fire (Inanna Publications, 2017). The Widow’s Fire is an exploration of the shadow side of Jane Austen’s final novel, Persuasion.
“. . . one of the delightful things about the book is not knowing what’s going to happen next. It went places I really didn’t expect it to go. I was biting my nails at one point, I was so worried. It made me wonder – as it did Frances Beer in her blurb on the back of the book – what would Jane Austen think about this version of events? Personally, I think she would approve, and even applaud, this version (as well as Butler’s nerve to write it).” Naomi Mackinnon (Consumed by Ink), guest review for the Miramichi Reader
The Widow’s Fire included in Consumed by Ink‘s Best Books of 2017.
“Sequels to Austen novels abound, but this is a startlingly original take, neither cozy nor romantic — even if love triumphs in the end. Mr. Butler spins a gothic-feeling tale of blackmail, spying, and a few kinds of forbidden love. It seriously messes with what we thought we knew about several main characters in Persuasion, but doesn’t feel like a betrayal of them, more like something that could be true,” Kathleen A Flynn, author of The Jane Austen Project.
Events for The Widow’s Fire (2017)
- June 12, Westminster Books, Fredericton, reading, 4 – 5:30 pm.
- June 27, Audrey’s Books, Edmonton, reading, 7.00. pm.
- September 23rd, Word on the Street, Lethbridge, Alberta, reading, time TBA.
- 2017 JASNA AGM, Huntington Beach, California, Jane Austen in Paradise: Intimations of Immortality, presentation: Updating Jane’s Morality in 21st Century Fiction October 5 – 8.
- October 23, , 4.30 pm, University of Lethbridge Bookstore, fall launch and reading.
- November 18, 2-4 pm, Calgary, Jane Austen Society of North America, Calgary branch presentation.
- November 29, 7.00 pm, Waterstones, Ipswich, UK, presentation.
More events will be added as they are arranged.
Purchase options for The Widow’s Fire:
In the USA
In the UK
Paul Butler – Biography
Paul Butler’s fiction is often “historical” in setting but also speaks directly to the twenty-first century whether exploring a Victorian missionary’s desire to replicate his own image in The Good Doctor (2014), the contradictions that lay behind early twentieth century notions of courage and cowardice in Titanic Ashes (2012) or our collective desire to both venerate and scapegoat the memory of woman in NaGeira (2006) in seventeenth century Ireland, England and Newfoundland. Butler’s work has appeared on the judges’ lists for Canada Reads, the Relit Longlist for three consecutive years (2011 for Cupids; 2010 for Hero; and 2009 for 1892), the Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards shortlist and he was a winner in the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Awards four times between 2003 and 2008 at which time he retired from the competition to be literary representative, and then chair, of the Arts and Letters Committee. He was born in the UK, emigrated to Canada in 1994, settling in Newfoundland. As an editor and creative writing coach he has for fifteen years run both live and online courses with a special focus on the novel. He recently moved his business, HB Creativity, to Lethbridge, Alberta.
“This novel is eloquent and mysterious in its turns of phrase and imagery. Paul Butler provides a deft framework wherein time shifts occur while at the same time providing continuous flow of characterization.” Historical Novels Review (U.S.) on The Good Doctor (2014)
“Titanic Ashes is a fast read filled with elegant expression and surprising emotion. Butler makes it easy to see inside the turmoil both sides felt when split second decisions made the difference between life or death. With surprising conclusions for all, this gem of a novel is sure to please those looking to expand on what came after.” Historical Novels Review (U.S.) on Titanic Ashes.
“Butler covers a lot of ground in a short space, and the flashbacks are vivid and well executed … the use of multiple perspectives creates an engaging puzzle that unfolds over the course of the story, associating the Titanic’s sinking with a breakdown of class and traditional moral values.” Quill and Quire on Titanic Ashes
“Butler provides solid descriptions of…Bristol and England; where he excels is in his descriptions of the human psyche…He has created memorable characters who could all easily be historical figures rather than imaginative figments.” Historical Novels Review on Cupids
“[A] brilliant new novel . . . Butler uses imaginative, textured language to convey the emotional contradictions of his characters… Atlantic Books Today on Hero
“1892 combines both lyrical writing and telling detail. It is a novel written by a sure and confident writer in his prime.” The Chronicle-Herald
“A tour de force of the imagination…” Canadian Book Revue Annual on NaGeira
“…Butler builds solid suspense and healthy narrative momentum through a focus on fundamentals: efficient storytelling, keen attention to characterization and fealty to the mysteries of the past and their influence on the present…Easton’s Gold is…a compelling novel which often surprises and satisfies.” The Globe and Mail