Look, like most people who read Trust by Hernan Diaz, I had the immediate impression that this was going to win a lot of things. It’s a shame when that is one of my first instincts, but it wasn’t the only one. I didn’t only think “this one has a high literary fiction written all over it.” I thought about how elegantly Diaz navigates paths that are difficult to make accessible and relatable.
He writes about money in an exciting way, and in a way that doesn’t shirk moral questions. So many stories about money track the way that it can pull a person away from what they value. This novel by contrast demonstrates how money, particularly loads of money, reveals what we value.
He writes about gender in an unsettling way, a way that reveals itself the further you get into the novel, a way that reveals your own gendered perspective the further you get into the novel.
I guess I should say that this is a novel that plays with what a novel can be. It is in four parts, the latter two parts (and much of the second of the four parts) written in the voice of female characters. The further you get into the novel, the further Diaz moves you away from the fiction of part one, the kind of story that we have come to know of the novel at its best, at its peak.
There are spoilers that I’m avoiding here, as you’ve probably noticed. All I can say is that each part in each voice of Trust will have you thinking and feeling, and then thinking and feeling anew.