Random House, NZ. 2006
CulturBooks, Germany, 2019
Fish 'n' Chip Shop Song
Number One on the New Zealand Fiction bestseller list.
Short listed for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Best First Book, Southeast Asia, and South Pacific Region.
“With no flamboyance, but with talent and a scrupulous art, Carl Nixon establishes himself as one of our best younger writers.”
“Nixon writes with passion and a unique style that draws you into each story. The best are laced with wry humour, intensity, anticipation and deep compassion. Each character is vividly brought to life to play a part against a backdrop of magnificently described times and places...a thoroughly entertaining read from start to finish and is highly recommended.”
Taranaki Daily News
“... they are written with wit and assurance and raise the bar for New Zealand’s aspiring short story writers.”
The Dominion Post
“The narratives are compact, quiet, modestly sturdy, mostly orthodox in structure. They feature flares of action: a neck-wringing, a life-saving hand-clutch, a symbol-burdened lake swim, an ugly and authentically unresolved brawl between father and son. They often begin from or end at a moment of illumination or half-comprehension – quite wonderfully in ‘My Father Running With a Dead Boy’... (Nixon has) done himself proud with this collection.”
“Family Life(is) a superb story that can stand comparison not only with local literary stars but with American maestros John Cheever and Tobias Wolff.”
The Sunday Star Times
“It’s pretty melancholy stuff – as is much New Zealand short fiction – but beautifully handled. There’s not a spare word in this book ...If I were Owen Marshall and short story writing were a competitive sport (and in a way it is as writers compete for various awards, fellowships and grants), I’d be looking over my shoulder where Carl Nixon has just positioned himself.
Warwick Roger, North and South Magazine.
By the end of the first story I was scribbling excited notes to use in this review: ‘profoundly intelligent’, ‘expertly focussed’, ‘encapsulates larger background story in details of smaller foreground one; very cleverly done’, and finally, ‘perfect short story’.... As the book’s essence-of-kiwiana title hints, these stories are about New Zealand. Not merely set here – though they mostly are – and not merely filled with incidental details that tell you only a dyed-in-the-wool Kiwi could have written them. At their frequent best, these stories ask powerful, not to say disturbing, questions about what being a New Zealander means....Nixon has delivered a peach of a book. I want more of this man’s stories.”
The Weekend Herald