Disposable Diaries: Nickolas Butler

LITTLE FAITH is a novel set along the Mississippi River in a fictitious Wisconsin village called Redford.  I live in rural Wisconsin, about eight miles south of my hometown of Eau Claire.  I’ve always been inspired by the landscape, the seasons, and the people of this part of the world.  What follows is photographic representation of the area where I live, including some of the most important people in my life. 

little faith nickolas butler buffalo wisconsin

The view just south of my house, looking east.  Some people like the city.  I prefer this: rolling hills, a herd of buffalo, and countryside patchworked by fields of corn and forest.

little faith nickolas butler

A country church maybe three miles south of where I live.  This photo was taken after a heavy snowstorm.  The weather looks beautiful, but temperatures were hovering around 0 degrees Fahrenheit.  My hands were so cold it was difficult snapping the picture.  This past year Eau Claire, Wisconsin broke our all-time record for seasonal snowfall with over 90 inches.

little faith nickolas butler

Watch for pedestrians.

little faith nickolas butler

My turntable and Colter Wall’s beautiful album “Songs of the Plains”.

little faith nickolas butler

Every winter my wife’s extended family (four generations represented) gathers to eat “krub”, or Norwegian blood sausage.  They’re a lively bunch.  They were all fairly amused when I told them my British publisher had mailed me a disposable camera to document my life.

little faith nickolas butler

Paul Bunyan and Babe-the-Blue-Ox.  If Wisconsin has a mythology, these two figures would play prominently.  I’ve heard that the origin story of Paul Bunyan stems from a logging company’s publicity pamphlets: no doubt an attempt to whitewash the ecological destruction the lumber industry waged on the upper Midwest’s virgin stands of white pine.

little faith nickolas butler

This is my buddy, Tracy Hruska.  He traveled out from California to visit.  This photo was taken after a prolonged and heated game of dominoes.  Also – we drank a lot of wine that night.  Tracy and I have been exchanging handwritten letters since we met back in 2003, while studying grizzly bears and traditional ecological knowledge up in Alaska.

little faith nickolas butler

My daughter and me, trying to stay warm and absorb some rarified February Vitamin-D.

little faith nickolas butler

I don’t ever take for granted the miracle of international publishing, and I am incredibly grateful to my readers all around Europe.  I am sincerely so pleased that LITTLE FAITH found a home with Faber & Faber.  Here I am, in my cluttered kitchen, looking genuinely pleased.

Little Faith is out now 

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