Nickolas Butler

Nickolas Butler

Nickolas Butler was born in Pennsylvania and raised in Wisconsin, where he has now returned with his wife and two children. He has worked as a Burger King maintenance man, a hot-dog vendor, a telemarketer, an innkeeper (twice), an office manager, a coffee roaster and a liquor store clerk. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, his work has appeared in a wide range of literary magazines. Shotgun Lovesongs is his first novel. 


Four short story collections to read this summer

The state of the short story has been much-debated recently. The form is having a come back, say some; short story writers still feel in the shadow of novelists, say others; aren't novels just long stories anyway, so why do we pit them against each other? say others again. The debate is as alive and well as the stories themselves, as these four collections that Picador is publishing this summer will testify. (If we say so ourselves.)

Songs about our place

Songs about our place

Music is at the heart of Shotgun Lovesongs: it's in the voices, the place and the language. Here are some of the songs that are mentioned in the novel or that I was reminded of, and the passages that made me think of them. I'd love to know if there are any that you thought of while reading.

Nickolas Butler on how his novel Shotgun Lovesongs came to be

Nickolas Butler on how his novel Shotgun Lovesongs came to be

My first year as a student at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, I rented a room in a drafty house from an adjunct professor of English who shelved her books according to color (white, ROYGBIV, black – from left to right, if memory serves) and whose cat (I’m allergic to cats) was named Trotsky. In my room were literally three pieces of furniture.