OCTOBER 11-14, 2018

and year round


The Hearts of Men - Nickolas Butler - <span class="date-display-single">11/04/2017 - 4:30pm</span>

The Hearts of Men

11/04/2017 - 4:30pm

Central Library - The Bubbler

The Hearts of Men is an evocative, decades-spanning look at intertwining friendships and families that explores the slippery definitions of fidelity, morality, and trust—all played out against a backdrop of a venerable Boy Scout camp in the Wisconsin woods. It begins at Camp Chippewa in 1962. Thirteen-year-old Nelson Doughty, the camp bugler, is at once an overachiever and social outcast. This summer, however, launches a tenuous friendship with a popular boy named Jonathan. Years later, Nelson—irrevocably scarred from the Vietnam War—has become Scoutmaster of Camp Chippewa. Jonathan, meanwhile, has married, divorced, and taken over his father’s highly successful trucking business. When something unthinkable involving Jonathan’s teenage grandson and daughter-in- law happens at the camp, its aftermath test the depths—and the limits—of Nelson's selflessness and bravery. The Hearts of Men is Butler’s astute exploration of what it means to be a good person and whether we have to be intrinsically good or if it’s possible to get there by trying, failing, and trying again.

Nickolas Butler

About Presenter Nickolas Butler


Nickolas Butler was born in Allentown, PA, and raised in Eau Claire, WI. His writings have appeared in Narrative Magazine, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. A bestseller in both the U.S. and France, his debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, received the Midwest Booksellers Award, the Great Lakes, Great Reads Award, and France's Prix PAGE/America. He is also the author of Beneath the Bonfire, and The Hearts of Men which has already been longlisted for two of France's top literary awards. Butler graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison before attending the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and lives in Wisconsin with his wife and two children.



The Hearts of Men

Madison Public Library logo

201 W. Mifflin Street
Madison, WI 53703


join the conversation #wibookfest

we couldn't do it without you: