Longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2022. A literary puzzle about money, power, and intimacy, Trust challenges the myths shrouding wealth, and the fictions that often pass for history.

He is a legendary Wall Street tycoon; she is the daughter of eccentric aristocrats. Together, they have risen to the very top - but at what cost have they acquired their immense fortune? This is the mystery at the centre of Bonds, a successful 1938 novel that all New York seems to have read. But there are other versions of this tale of privilege and deceit.

Trust elegantly draws these competing narratives into conversation with each other - and in tension with the perspective of one woman bent on disentangling fact from fiction. The result is a provocative and propulsive novel that spans an entire century and becomes more exhilarating with each new revelation.

The Booker Prize 2022
Published by
Picador, Pan Macmillan
Publication date

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Hernan Diaz

Hernan Diaz

About the Author

Hernan Diaz was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2022. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award, he is the author of two novels, which have been translated into more than twenty languages.
More about Hernan Diaz

Hernan Diaz on Trust

‘While being a force that shapes our lives, money is also a taboo. This dissonance was interesting to me. Then, as I started to read toward this book, two things became immediately apparent: the first is that women have been utterly erased from narratives of accumulation of capital; the second is that there are precious few novels about money making - in fiction, money has almost always already been made. I was also attracted to the fictional quality of money (it is, after all, a convention that all of us have been forced to accept) and how this fiction can impact and alter the world. This led me to reconsider the relationship between literature and power, on the one hand, and the evanescent line separating fiction from history, on the other.

‘I did my best to disappear from this book and let four different people take over. But some of my verbal tics seeped into each one of these voices. To remedy this, I composed four strict style guides – one for each author – detailing their punctuation, syntax, vocabulary, and grammatical idiosyncrasies. The tone of the first section results, in part, from engaging with some formal experiments of the 30s while also retaining a turn-of-the-century ring. The presence of Edith Wharton and Henry James can be felt everywhere in that part - but also Vernon Lee’s travel writing, for instance.

‘Part of the novel’s overall plan, however, was to create an arc going from realism to modernism – and beyond. The last section was conceived almost as a modernist prose poem. There are more or less overt references to Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, Gertrude Stein, and several other authors from the period. Meanwhile, the third section owes a great deal to some New Journalism writers like Lillian Ross and, crucially, Joan Didion.

‘Trust is saturated with references to British and American literature from the last hundred years. I also conducted extensive archival research and read countless documents written by the wives of real-life tycoons. Listening to their voices, many of which had remained unheard for a century (it was clear no one had ever gone through some of those manuscripts since they had been stored away), was quite moving.

Read the full interview here.

Trust by Hernan Diaz

What the judges said

‘There is a dazzling intelligence behind this novel, which challenges us to rethink everything we know both about the institutions on which nations are built and the narratives by which stories are told. Sly, sophisticated, insistently questioning, Diaz writes with assurance, determined to rob us of every certainty.’

What the critics said

Hamilton Cain, Oprah Daily

Trust is a glorious novel about empires and erasures, husbands and wives, staggering fortunes and unspeakable misery … He spins a larger parable, then, plumbing sex and power, causation and complicity. Mostly, though, Trust is a literary page-turner, with a wealth of puns and elegant prose, fun as hell to read.’

Claude Peck, The Star Tribune

‘Diaz’s ingenious new fiction, told in four overlapping parts, challenges conventional story lines of another favorite American theme: capitalism and the accumulation of vast wealth […] With great skill and using multiple voices, Diaz employs his inventive structure to offer intriguing insights into the hidden roles played by subservient women.’

Buzz Poole, The Boston Globe

‘Everything in Trust is in its place. Like four exquisite dioramas, Diaz has set up all of these stories with great precision to present two fundamental questions: Why do we tell stories? And at what cost are those stories told? The stories in question revolve around finance, power, and identity, are all self-serving, and are about much more than what one person does to another … a remarkably accessible treatise on the power of fiction. This unquestionably smart and sophisticated novel not only mirrors truth, but helps us to better understand it.’

Jakob Hofmann, The Times Literary Supplement

‘Hernan Diaz has produced a charming, glowing novel, best read at least twice. But Trust isn’t merely clever: the bones are lovely, and so is the skin. It is funny. It becomes a family saga, with Andrew and Mildred in every role. It is a polyphonic Russian doll of a narrative that somehow avoids gimmickry and manages to look at itself from every angle, courting self-deception even as it tries to win our trust.’

Abhrajyoti Chakraborty, The Guardian

‘Diaz’s genius lies in gradually revealing that just as concrete goods and human labour are transmuted into tradeable shares and commodities for profit, novelists like Vanner tweak a real-life cancer diagnosis into a psychiatric ailment because it makes for a more riveting story […] The contours of the plot might feel familiar at times, but you’re propelled forward by the twists and turns of the novel’s form, the conviction that Diaz has another trick up his sleeve.’

Trust by Hernan Diaz

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