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The Nix
by Nathan Hill


Overview - A New York Times 2016 Notable Book
Entertainment Weekly's #1 Book of the Year
A Washington Post 2016 Notable Book
A Slate Top Ten Book

" Nathan Hill is a maestro." --John Irving

It's 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson hasn't seen his mother, Faye, in decades--not since she abandoned the family when he was a boy.  Read more...


 
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More About The Nix by Nathan Hill
 
 
 
Overview
A New York Times 2016 Notable Book
Entertainment Weekly's #1 Book of the Year
A Washington Post 2016 Notable Book
A Slate Top Ten Book

"Nathan Hill is a maestro." --John Irving

It's 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson hasn't seen his mother, Faye, in decades--not since she abandoned the family when he was a boy. Now she's reappeared, having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the nightly news and inflames a politically divided country. 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.

To save her, Samuel will have to embark on his own journey, uncovering long-buried secrets about the woman he thought he knew, secrets that stretch across generations and have their origin all the way back in Norway, home of the mysterious Nix. As he does so, Samuel will confront not only Faye's losses but also his own lost love, and will relearn everything he thought he knew about his mother, and himself.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781101970348
  • ISBN-10: 1101970340
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • Publish Date: May 2017
  • Page Count: 752
  • Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Family Life
Books > Fiction > Humorous - Black Humor

 
BookPage Reviews

Book clubs: The mother lode

The Nix, Nathan Hill’s smart, darkly humorous debut, is the tale of Samuel Andresen-Anderson, an unmotivated English professor who was once a successful writer. Samuel’s mother, Faye, walked out on the family when he was a kid, and he hasn’t seen her since. When she’s charged with a surprising crime involving a politician—an act that attracts the attention of the national media—Samuel is more than a little surprised. Portrayed as a revolutionary, the Faye of today is nothing like the conventional woman he knew years ago. Samuel’s life takes an unexpected turn after he decides to help his mother—a choice he hopes will result in material for a new book. As he delves into Faye’s background and finds out more about her, he comes to realize that he never really knew her at all. Hill navigates between the past and the present with skill, presenting scenes from Faye’s life in the 1960s that are richly authentic. This is a timely, resonant novel from a writer on the rise.

FAMILY MATTERS
Commonwealth has it all—a compelling plot, convincing characters and an insightful approach to story­telling. Spanning 50 years, Ann Patchett’s poignant exploration of family relationships opens in the 1960s, at a party in California, where Bert Cousins—drunk and dauntless—breaks up the marriage of Beverly Keating. The two go on to tie the knot and settle in Virginia, forcing their combined group of six stepkids into a new living situation. Patchett chronicles the ways in which the domestic reconfiguration influences family members, including Beverly’s daughter, Franny. When Franny shares the story of her early years with her lover, the novelist Leon Posen, he uses it as the foundation for his new book—a runaway hit that makes the family face up to its past. This exploration of the risks of romance and the consequences of rash acts makes for a captivating read. With this novel—her seventh and most autobiographical—Patchett continues to prove that she’s one of the best writers working today.

TOP PICK FOR BOOK CLUBS
One of the most acclaimed debuts of 2016, Yaa Gyasi’s ­Homegoing is a powerful novel that chronicles the lives of Effia and Esi, two lovely half-sisters who aren’t aware of one another, and whose fates in 1700s Ghana are drastically different. Effia is sold by her father to British governor James Collins, who takes her to a castle where she leads a comfortable life. Esi, meanwhile, is kept in the castle’s dismal dungeon waiting to be shipped as a slave to the New World. The contrast between the women’s lives creates a compelling reading experience. As the novel progresses, Gyasi introduces new generations of the sisters’ families, working up to modern-day Harlem. Demonstrating remarkable facility as a writer, she shifts scenes and eras with ease. This is an important debut that will provide book clubs with plenty of talking points.

This article was originally published in the May 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
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