In 1985, Sharon Butalaâ€™ s first collection of short stories, Queen of the Headaches, was nominated for a Governor Generalâ€™ s Award. Her second, Fever, won the 1992 Authors Award for Paperback Fiction and was nominated for a Commonwealth Award. The publication of Real Life, her newest collection, once again shows she is a master of the genre. Real Life contains ten perfectly formed stories, singular moments of emotional intensity about the inner lives we all share. In â€ś Light,â€ť a woman whose sister is dying an agonizing death from cancer finds a compelling attraction to the stories of Holocaust survivors. In â€ś Real Life,â€ť Raine, a middle-aged divorced woman, runs into her former husbandÂ— and the still-sharp pain of an affair that changed the course of their lives. â€ś Keeping Houseâ€ť tells of a daughterâ€™ s impending divorce, forcing her mother to re-examine her own abusive first marriage. Each story presents the moments of â€ś real lifeâ€ť that all of us experience, stripping away defenses to reveal truths of pain, joy, anger, fear, or hope.