'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.