Hernan Diaz’s debut novel In the Distance went on to become not only one of the great debuts of the year, but a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction and the PEN/Faulkner award. His follow-up Trust is also a book that engages with and interrogates the stories that the United States tells about itself and the mythologies it creates, but this time focusing not on the Western frontier but rather on the accumulation of capital and the mythos of money. But Trust is really about the contract between reader and writer, fiction’s relationship to truth and history, and the way the “reality” of what really happened is often built upon the erasure of certain voices. Trust is a marvel of both form and voice. It is a nested puzzle that requires the reader to be a textual detective, and yet, at the same time, remains a compulsive, immersive reading experience. Somehow the book is able to shift styles—from that of Edith Wharton or Henry James to that of Jean Rhys or Virginia Woolf—and not only remain a cohesive project but deepen as it sheds one skin and assumes another.
If you enjoy today’s deep dive with Hernan Diaz consider joining the Between the Covers community as a listener-supporter. There are many benefits and rewards for doing so. Check them all out at the show’s Patreon page. Lastly, here is today’s Bookshop with all of the books mentioned today.