A Book Group Visit

Katie would be happy to visit your book group when you discuss The Boys. She can Zoom in for 30 minutes and answer any questions you might have.

Katie lives in San Francisco, so if you’re based in the SF Bay Area, she might be able to come in person. Click on the link below to contact her!

Watch the Trailer

When introverted Ethan Fawcett marries the vivacious Barb, he has every reason to believe he will be delivered from a lifetime of solitude. One day, Barb brings home two young brothers, Tommy and Sam, for them to foster, and when the pandemic hits, Ethan becomes obsessed with providing a perfect life for them. Instead of bringing Barb and Ethan closer, though, the boys become a wedge in their relationship, as Ethan is unable to tell Barb something that has been haunting him since childhood. 
 
Ethan takes the boys on a biking trip in Italy, and it becomes clear just how unusual Ethan and his children are – and what it will take for Ethan to repair his marriage. This wise and compassionate debut novel is a bold high-wire feat – and the introduction of an exciting and daring new voice in fiction.

Praise for The Boys:

Review in The New York Times

“What a wonder of storytelling. I will be thinking of these boys for a long time to come.”

Weike WangThe New York Times Book Review, July 26, 2022

“Journalist Hafner’s marvelous fiction debut centers on a socially awkward man’s neuroses about fatherhood. While working as the chief technology officer at a startup in Philadelphia, Ethan meets Barb, a University of Pennsylvania grad student, and the two start dating. They soon marry, though Ethan suspects he’s scored out of his league. Having lost his parents at an early age, he also fears becoming a father, but Barb changes his mind, only for them to discover after a year of trying to conceive that Ethan is sterile. They decide to foster two young boys, but when the Covid-19 pandemic hits and Ethan develops an overbearing attachment to them, his relationship with Barb disintegrates. She leaves him and he takes the boys on a bike trip to Italy, where a jaw-dropping twist ensues. Starting out as a lighthearted romance before taking an unsettling turn, this upsets expectations in the best way. The heartbreaking late reveal will take a second reading to fully sink in and pushes the troubled marriage genre to dizzying extremes. It’s a remarkable outing, and readers will look forward to seeing what Hafner does next.

Publishers Weekly

“Tender and emotionally intelligent…An audacious feat of narrative bravado.”

– Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

“The Boys is utterly charming — one of the most delightful books I have read in ages. As we bike through Italy’s little villages with introvert Ethan Fawcett, stopping to drink a caffè shakerato as church bells ring in a mournful E flat, what we see around us is the wide and beautiful horizon of the human heart. I absolutely loved this little miracle of a book.” 

— Meg Waite Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Postmistress of Paris

“Unexpectedly funny, touching, disarming — The Boys got under my skin from the very first page. Hafner is a wry and wise explorer of the secrets buried deep in our most intimate relationships. This novel will stay with me for a long time.”   

— Laura Zigman, author of Separation Anxiety

“A brilliant, thoughtful novel that comes with perhaps the greatest shocker in recent literature (no spoiler alert). A superb meditation on loneliness and community.”

Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author of Our Country Friends

“This a treat-yourself read, the tale of an endearing human on a hilariously misguided quest for love and connection, in the delight-filled tradition of Anne Tyler. But Hafner bakes a surprise into the center of her confection — a glorious, mind-blowing twist that propels the story to unexpected heights and depths. With exquisite compassion and humor, this novel leaves its readers deeply nourished, heart, mind, and soul.”

— Debra Jo Immergut, Author of You Again

Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, DECEMBER 7

ONLINE/The Boys - An Evening of Conversation with Author Katie Hafner/7:00 PM EST
The National Arts Club is thrilled to host a virtual event with Katie Hafner, author of The Boys, in conversation with bestselling author Gary Shteyngart.
Learn more

Purchase The Boys: