“Nix (n): A Norwegian spirit disguised as a white horse, which after sitting upon, plunges both itself and the rider over the nearest cliff to both their deaths; see also: loved ones who are inevitably destructive and disappointing.
Set in both our own time, and the raging 1968 riots of Chicago, The Nix is at its base a story about childhood abandonment across two generations, that goes on to tackle issues of love, addiction, and ghosts. Are the characters in this novel haunted by their pasts, or are they the ones doing the haunting? A sprawling saga about how the things we love the most are, in the end, those that hurt us the deepest. As every character gets a chance to tell their story, the subtle way their lives weave together is a testament to Hill’s strength as an emerging author. Satirical, sharp, sometimes heartbreaking, and so socially relevant, this book is everything. If you buy one book this summer, let it be The Nix.“
Winner of the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction 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 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "The Nix is a mother-son psychodrama with ghosts and politics, but it's also a tragicomedy about anger and sanctimony in America. . . . Nathan Hill is a maestro." --John Irving
From the suburban Midwest to New York City to the 1968 riots that rocked Chicago and beyond, The Nix explores--with sharp humor and a fierce tenderness--the resilience of love and home, even in times of radical change. It's 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson--college professor, stalled writer--has a Nix of his own: his mother, Faye. He hasn't seen her in decades, not since she abandoned the family when he was a boy. Now she's re-appeared, having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the nightly news, beguiles the internet, 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.
About the Author
NATHAN HILL's short fiction has appeared in many literary journals, including The Iowa Review, AGNI, The Gettysburg Review, and Fiction, which awarded him its annual Fiction Prize. A native Iowan, he lives with his wife in Naples, Florida.