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Author of Highly Acclaimed "The Nix" to Make Santa Monica Appearance


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By Jorge Casuso

June 20, 2017 -- When Nathan Hill's debut novel "The Nix" was released last year, critics clamored to hail the young author as a bold new voice in American fiction.

Next Monday, Hill will discuss his 620-page New York Times Bestseller at the Santa Monica library as part of the Emerging Voices author series in cooperation with Live Talks Los Angeles.

The Nix book cover

"The Nix" is the poignant, often wacky, multi-layered and cross-generational story of a son's unlikely reunion with the mother who mysteriously abandoned the family when he was a boy.

When she suddenly reappears decades later after "having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the nightly news, beguiles the internet, and inflames a politically divided country" the son -- now a college professor and stalled writer -- must comes to terms with his mother's true identity, according to the book's blurb.

The book won instant acclaim and praises from top writers, along with comparisons to two masters of the modern American novel -- Thomas Pynchon and David Foster Wallace.

“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,” wrote bestselling novelist John Irving.

"After 10 pages of Nathan Hill's debut novel, "The Nix," I flipped to the dust jacket," Jasson Sheehan wrote in a review for NPR. "I wanted to see what the author looked like because I was thinking to myself, Jesus, this guy is gonna be famous."

Not all the reviews were as glowing. After comparing Hill's writing to Pynchon and Wallace's, "New York Times" reviewer Teddy Wayne lamented the book's contrived plot he thought lacked a satisfactory payoff.

"One gets the sense that Hill wanted to include every anecdote, observation and turn of phrase he ever conjured up or heard, and was loath to prune any from the finished product," Wayne wrote.

Before "The Nix," Hill wrote short stories that appeared in prestigious literary journals, including The Iowa Review, AGNI, The Gettysburg Review and Fiction, where he was awarded the annual Fiction Prize.

General Admission tickets to "An Evening with Nathan Hill" -- which takes place from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the library's Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium -- are complimentary.

However, library officials encourage those attending "to support these newer authors and purchase their books."

RSVP here for free tickets to this event. Pre-purchasing the book includes a reserved seat. To pre-purchase book click here.


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