You can’t separate being an old writer from being an old person, and further, from the differing effects of aging on women and men. The condition in itself of being old is quite wonderful (aside from illness and debilitation) but the aging/aged writer is as subject to ageism as old people are in any profession. The world of the aging writer is currently much complicated by the many drastic changes going on in the publishing world which tend to make some of us re-think our working lives. But as old people we have certain advantages that it might be said are particularly precious to a writer, along with certain new difficulties. How debilitating are these new difficulties? How precious the advantages?
Sharon Butala has published sixteen books of both fiction and nonfiction. She has won a number of awards and has been shortlisted twice for the Governor General’s Award and once for the Commonwealth Prize. She has received numerous honours throughout her writing career, one of which is Officer in the Order of Canada. For over five years now, we have been fortunate enough to claim Sharon as a fellow Calgarian.