LONGLISTED FOR THE 2015 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

A sharply observed, mordantly funny, and startlingly original novel from an exciting, unconventional new voice—the author of the acclaimed The Wallcreeper—about the making and unmaking of the American family that lays bare all of our assumptions about race and racism, sexuality and desire.

Stillwater College in Virginia, 1966. Freshman Peggy, an ingénue with literary pretensions, falls under the spell of Lee, a blue-blooded poet and professor, and they begin an ill-advised affair that results in an unplanned pregnancy and marriage. The two are mismatched from the start—she’s a lesbian, he’s gay—but it takes a decade of emotional erosion before Peggy runs off with their three-year-old daughter, leaving their nine-year-old son behind.

Worried that Lee will have her committed for her erratic behavior, Peggy goes underground, adopting an African American persona for her and her daughter. They squat in a house in an African-American settlement, eventually moving to a housing project where no one questions their true racial identities. As Peggy and Lee’s children grow up, they must contend with diverse emotional issues: Byrdie deals with his father’s compulsive honesty; while Karen struggles with her mother’s lies—she knows neither her real age, nor that she is “white,” nor that she has any other family.

Years later, a minority scholarship lands Karen at the University of Virginia, where Byrdie is in his senior year. Eventually the long lost siblings will meet, setting off a series of misunderstandings and culminating in a comedic finale worthy of Shakespeare.

One of Huffington Post’s 20 Fall 2016 Books You’ll Need for Your Bookshelf

Featured in New York Magazine’s Fall 2016 Preview

An Entertainment Weekly Fall 2016 Must-Read

Featured in LitHub’s 2016 Bookseller’s Fall Preview

Featured in The Guardian‘s Fall 2016 Books Preview: The Best American Writing

From the “wonderfully talented” (Dwight Garner, New York Times) author of Mislaid and The Wallcreeper comes a fierce and audaciously funny new novel, dazzling in its energy and ambition: a story of obsession, idealism, and ownership, centered around a young woman who inherits her bohemian father’s childhood home.

 Recent business school graduate Penny Baker has rebelled against her family her whole life-by being the conventional one. Her mother, Amalia, was a member of an Amazonian tribe called the Kogi; her much older father, Norm, long ago attained cult-like deity status among a certain group of aging hippies while operating a ‘healing center’ in New Jersey. And she’s never felt particularly close to her much-older half-brothers from Norm’s previous marriage-one wickedly charming and obscenely rich (but mostly just wicked), one a photographer on a distant tropical island.


 But all that changes when her father dies, and Penny inherits his childhood home in New Jersey. She goes to investigate the property and finds it not overgrown and abandoned, but rather occupied by a group of friendly anarchist squatters whom she finds unexpectedly charming, and who have renamed the property Nicotine House. The residents of Nicotine House (defenders of smokers’ rights) possess the type of passion and fervor Penny feels she’s desperately lacking, and the other squatter houses in the neighborhood provide a sense of community Penny’s never felt before, and she soon moves into a nearby residence, becoming enmeshed in the political fervor and commitment of her fellow squatters.

 As the Baker family’s lives begin to converge around the fate of the Nicotine House, Penny grows ever bolder and more desperate to protect it-and its residents-until a fateful night when a reckless confrontation between her old family and her new one changes everything.

A Recommended Book of 2019 from Vulture and Esquire

Two generations of an American family come of age—one before 9/11, one after—in this moving and original novel from the “intellectually restless, uniquely funny” (New York Times Book Review) mind of Nell Zink

Pam, Daniel, and Joe might be the worst punk band on the Lower East Side. Struggling to scrape together enough cash and musical talent to make it, they are waylaid by surprising arrivals—a daughter for Pam and Daniel, a solo hit single for Joe. As the ‘90s wane, the three friends share in one another’s successes, working together to elevate Joe’s superstardom and raise baby Flora.

On September 11, 2001, the city’s unfathomable devastation coincides with a shattering personal loss for the trio. In the aftermath, Flora comes of age, navigating a charged political landscape and discovering a love of the natural world. Joining the ranks of those fighting for ecological conservation, Flora works to bridge the wide gap between powerful strategists and ordinary Americans, becoming entangled ever more intimately with her fellow activists along the way. And when the country faces an astonishing new threat, Flora’s family will have no choice but to look to the past—both to examine wounds that have never healed, and to rediscover strengths they have long forgotten.

At once an elegiac takedown of today’s political climate and a touching invocation of humanity’s goodness, Doxology offers daring revelations about America’s past and possible future that could only come from Nell Zink, one of the sharpest novelists of our time.

From the brilliant and incisive author of Mislaid—"a writer of extraordinary talent and range" (Jonathan Franzen) whose "capacity for inventions is immense" (BookForum)—comes a new collection of her earliest work: two wildly funny novellas (Sailing Towards the Sunset by Avner Shats and European Story for Avner Shats) available in one compact volume.

Years ago, Nell Zink resolved to write a book for her friend, the Israeli novelist Avner Shats, that would mirror his remarkable style. Unable to read his Hebrew, she was forced to start from scratch. Now, this tongue-in-cheek homage is available to Nell’s growing readership for the first time, accompanied by a second dazzling and imaginative work that breathes—at Shats’s request—the perfumed air of the Old Europe and stars a figure very much like Shats.

Sailing Towards the Sunset by Avner Shats is Zink’s faux-translation of Shats’s 1998 novel Lashut El Hashkia ("Sailing Towards the Sunset"). It flows with a narrative spin only the singular Zink could pull off—including both authentic and fictional versions of characters from Shats’s life and work such as the author herself.

A fast-moving portrait of expat artists, authors, and academics on fellowships at the Villa Romana in Florence, European Story for Avner Shats centers on a trio of three indelible characters: an Israeli writer vaguely reminiscent of Shats, a German specialist in ancient lint, and a beautiful and fraudulent Russian performance artist.

Demonstrating the hallmarks of Zink’s unique talent, Private Novelist is an intimate look into this acclaimed novelist’s early work that will please her coterie of admirers and further burnish her lustrous reputation.

“En usædvanlig talentfuld forfatter. Hendes bøger får en til at overveje, om verden er større og mere mærkelig end den verden, man kender.” – Jonathan Franzen En skarp, provokerende og original roman fra en spændende og utraditionel ny stemme i amerikansk litteratur. Stillwater College i Virginia, 1966. Peggy er førsteårsstuderende. Hun er en naiv, ung pige med litterære ambitioner. Lee underviser og er derudover en excentrisk digter. De indleder en uklog affære, der resulterer i uønsket graviditet, ægteskab og endnu en graviditet. Lige fra begyndelsen er det dømt til at gå galt, da de mildest talt ikke passer sammen. For eksempel er hun lesbisk, og han er bøsse. Alligevel går der ti år med følelsesmæssige rutsjebaneture, før Peggy forlader Lee. Hun tager deres treårige datter, Mireille, med, men efterlader deres niårige søn, Byrdie, hos Lee. Peggy er bekymret for om Lee kan finde på at få hende dømt for at være utilregnelig, og går derfor under jorden og opbygger en helt ny identitet for sig selv og datteren. Selv skifter hun navn til Meg, mens datteren ikke alene skifter navn til Karen, men også hudfarve; på papiret i hvert fald. Skæbnen vil, at Karen og Byrdie mange år senere tilfældigt mødes på University of Virginia. ————— ””Knald og fald” er en bemærkelsesværdig roman. Velskrevet, besynderlig og voldsomt underholdende i alle sine krumspring og uforudsigelige begivenheder.” – 5 stjerner – Kristeligt Dagblad. =================== Nell Zink, født i Californien i 1964, opvokset i Virginia og bosat i Tyskland. Zink skrev et brev til Jonathan Franzen om fugle, hvilket fik ham til at spærre øjnene op, og han gjorde sin agent opmærksom på Zinks talent. To år senere debuterede Zink med romanen The Wallcreeper, som af New York Times blev udråbt til at være en af de mest bemærkelsesværdige romaner i 2014. Knald og fald er Zinks anden roman, og den blev indstillet til den fornemme amerikanske litteraturpris National Book Award.
A sharply observed, mordantly funny, and startlingly original debut from an exciting, unconventional new voice, about the making and unmaking of the American family that lays bare all of our assumptions about race and racism, sexuality and desire. Stillwater College in Virginia, 1966. Freshman Peggy, an ingenue with literary pretensions, falls under the spell of Lee, a blue-blooded poet and professor, and they begin an ill-advised affair that results in an unplanned pregnancy and marriage. The couple are mismatched from the start--she's a lesbian, he's gay--but it takes a decade of emotional erosion before Peggy runs off with their three-year-old daughter, leaving their nine-year-old son behind. Worried that Lee will never have her committed for her erratic behavior, Peggy goes underground, adopting an African American persona for her and her daughter. They squat in a house in an African American settlement, eventually moving into a housing project where no one questions their true racial identities. As Peggy and Lee's children grow up, they must contend with diverse emotional issues: Byrdie must deal with his father's compulsive honesty; while Karen struggles with her mother's lies--she know nether her real age, nor that she is “white,” nor that she has any other family. Years later, a minority scholarship lands Karen at the University of Virginia, where Byrdie is in his senior year. Eventually the long lost siblings will meet, setting off a series of misunderstanding and culminating in a comedic finale worthy of Shakespeare.

The "wonderfully talented" (Dwight Garner, New York Times) author of Mislaid returns with a fierce and audaciously funny novel of families—both the ones we’re born into and the ones we create—a story of obsession, idealism, and ownership, centered around a young woman who inherits her bohemian late father's childhood home.

Recent business school graduate Penny Baker has rebelled against her family her whole life—by being the conventional one. Her mother, Amalia, was a member of a South American tribe called the Kogi; her much older father, Norm, long ago attained cult-like deity status among a certain cohort of aging hippies while operating a psychedelic "healing center." And she’s never felt particularly close to her much older half-brothers from Norm’s previous marriage—one wickedly charming and obscenely rich (but mostly just wicked), one a photographer on a distant tropical island.

But all that changes when her father dies, and Penny inherits his childhood home in New Jersey. She goes to investigate the property and finds it not overgrown and abandoned, but rather occupied by a group of friendly anarchist squatters whom she finds unexpectedly charming, and who have renamed the property "Nicotine." The Nicotine residents (united in defense of smokers’ rights) possess the type of passion and fervor Penny feels she’s desperately lacking, and the other squatter houses in the neighborhood provide a sense of community she has never felt before. She soon moves into a nearby residence, becoming enmeshed in the political fervor and commitment of her fellow squatters.

As the Baker family’s lives begin to converge around the fate of the house now called Nicotine, Penny grows ever bolder and more desperate to protect it—and its residents—until a fateful night when a reckless confrontation between her old family and her new one changes everything.

Nell Zink exquisitely captures the clash between Baby-Boomer idealism and Millennial pragmatism, between the have-nots and want-mores, in a riotous yet tender novel that brilliantly encapsulates our time.

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