Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award
'The best new writer of fiction in America. The best.' - John Irving
Nathan Hill's brilliant debut takes the reader from the rural Midwest of the 1960s, to New York City during Occupy Wall Street; from Chicago in 1968, to wartime Norway: home of the mysterious Nix.
Meet Samuel: stalled writer, bored teacher at a local college, obsessive player of online video games. He hasn't seen his mother, Faye, in decades, not since she abandoned her family when he was a boy. Now she has suddenly reappeared, having committed an absurd politically motivated crime that electrifies the nightly news, beguiles the Internet, and inflames a divided America. The media paints Faye as a radical hippie with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother was an ordinary girl who married her high-school sweetheart. Which version of his mother is true? Two facts are certain: she's facing some serious charges, and she needs Samuel's help.
As Samuel begins to excavate his mother's, and his country's, history, he will unexpectedly find that he has to rethink everything he ever knew about her - a woman with an epic story of her own, a story she has kept hidden from the world.
Impressive that a debutant, Nathan Hill, with his scintillating The Nix has given us a character who comes close to out-Trumping Trump . . . Just one of the many pleasures of this engaging story of a mother and son whose private travails become front-page news.
New Year Highlights, Observer
Alarmingly good . . . both a Great American Novel as well as a great American novel... aches with all-new relevance.
A superb debut novel . . . could well be the most ambitious novel of the year... It seems like Hill is a writer who can do pretty much what he wants.