Doxology: A Novel
By Nell Zink
Spanning three decades and two generations, Nell Zink’s latest novel opens on New York’s Lower East Side with Pam, Daniel, and Joe, a trio of bandmates struggling to make it in the punk scene circa 1990. As the decade progresses, the band’s dynamic does, too: Pam and Daniel have a baby, and Joe finds success as a solo musician. Then tragedy hits New York on September 11, 2001. Post 9/11, the bulk of Doxology follows Pam and Daniel’s daughter, Flora, as she comes of age in a shifting American climate. She goes to college, becomes interested in environmentalism and the Green Party, and as the 2016 election approaches, she starts working for—sigh—Jill Stein. Though the latter half of the book does center around Flora’s political activism, Zink skillfully navigates a myriad of perspectives and storylines, including Pam’s and Daniel’s.
As might be expected from any piece of fiction tackling Trump’s election, some of the more political moments of Doxology feel slightly heavy-handed and far from fresh in 2019. Zink’s strength as a writer, though, lies in creating immersive stories with varied and exciting ensemble casts—and on these counts, Doxology triumphs. (3/5)
By Lydia Wang
Doxology was published August 19, 2019.This article originally appeared in the July/August 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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