Shotgun Lovesongs - Nickolas Butler - 05/06/2014 - 7:00pm

Shotgun Lovesongs

Community Room

A blue collar guy from the Midwest, Butler spent October and November driving to bookstores in the Heartland: Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio and Kentucky—at least 80 stores—giving out copies of the galley and spending time with booksellers. They all connected to the same thing: the idea (or idealization) of small town America, which is so beautifully realized in the book.


The novel tells a “Big Chill”-like story of four friends who come home to a small town in rural Wisconsin to find that their relationships have altered in ways they couldn’t have predicted. There is a musician who shot to indie rock fame after recording an album in a chicken coop (he’s based on the lead singer from Bon Iver), a financier who uses his wealth to upgrade the place, a rodeo star, and a farmer who married the girl they all loved. If it sounds like an old-fashioned story—it is. But it’s one that stays with the reader, if only for the beauty of the prose, the evocation of Wisconsin farmland and the way Butler explores the complexity of longtime friendships.

Nickolas Butler

Nickolas Butler

Nickolas Butler was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and raised in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison as well as the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and the author of the novel The Hearts of Men, the internationally bestselling and prizewinning novel Shotgun Lovesongs, and the acclaimed short story collection Beneath the Bonfire. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife and their two children.

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