The Nix is a mother-son psychodrama with ghosts and politics, but it’s also a tragicomedy about anger and sanctimony in America. Even the minor characters go to extremes—among them, a Home Ec teacher from Hell and an unrepentant plagiarist with presidential aspirations. ‘A maestro of being awful,’ the son calls his mom. ‘Every memory is really a scar,’ she tells him. For this mother and son, disappointment is ‘the price of hope’—a cost they will both bear. Nathan Hill is a maestro of being terrific.
—John Irving, author of 14 novels, including The World According to Garp, The Cider House Rules, and Avenue of Mysteries
Nathan Hill’s The Nix is a huge, intimate, funny, beautifully intelligent novel — one of those books that almost seems to be alive: you open it up and are pulled within, and you live in the heartbeat of its pages, day after day. This is a lovely, smart, surprising read.
—Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members, winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor
Pay attention. This is what a Great American Novel looks like. The Nix is culturally relevant, politically charged, historically sweeping, sad, full of yearning, sometimes dark but mostly hilarious. Nathan Hill is a literary powerhouse who will deservedly earn many comparisons to John Irving and Jonathan Franzen.
—Benjamin Percy, author of The Dead Lands, Red Moon, The Wilding and Refresh, Refresh
Ix-nay all plans and grab a copy of The Nix! Nathan Hill’s novel is smart, inventive, and fun, as you might expect of a book that features a slew of elves and the 1968 Democratic Convention. I will read it again; I will keep it on my shelf of favorites, feed it sugar water, and hope it miraculously grows longer. Do you understand? The Nix is dead serious and delightful.
—Sara Levine, author of Treasure Island!!!
Sparkling, sweeping debut novel that takes in a large swath of recent American history and pop culture and turns them on their sides.… A grand entertainment, smart and well-paced, and a book that promises good work to come.
Hill’s first novel offers an ironic view of 21st-century elections, education, pop culture, and marketing, with flashbacks to 1988, 1968, and 1944. . . . The Nix of Hill’s title is a Norwegian mythological being that carries loved ones away, a physical and metaphorical representation of fear and loss, much like the Under Toad in John Irving’s The World According to Garp. Like Irving, Hill skillfully blends humor and darkness, imagery and observation. He also excels at describing technology, addiction, cultural milestones, and childhood ordeals. Cameos by Allen Ginsberg, Walter Cronkite, and Hubert Humphrey add heart and perspective to this rich, lively take on American social conflict, real and invented, over the last half-century.