Doxology by Nell Zink review – invigorating state-of-the-nation novel


This post is by Anthony Cummins from Books | The Guardian


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Two generations of a family expose the failings of Trump’s America in the novelist’s frequently brilliant latest

The novels of the US writer Nell Zink tend to be thrillingly unhinged, apparently written on the fly – within a month or even a week – and buzzing with witty dialogue and zany plots. In Mislaid, written before the Rachel Dolezal affair, a white woman identifies as black to leave her gay husband; the main character of Nicotine inherits her childhood home only to end up in a three-way fling with anarchist squatters, one asexual, the other a nymphomaniac.

If the wider points could sometimes go astray amid the quirkiness, Zink’s new novel looks like a bid for greater heft, targeting state-of-the-nation terrain through her regular prism of an unusual domestic setup. Running from 80s New York to Trump-era Washington DC, and framed by a pair of accidental pregnancies some 20 ...