Adam Haslett: An Unlikely Prophet

If you haven’t read New York Magazine‘s profile of Adam Haslett, whose forthcoming novel foretold our current financial disaster, it’s time to get acquainted with the virtuoso author. The media will be buzzing next Tuesday when Union Atlantic hits bookshelves. An early review in Bookslut claims, “Haslett is a major talent. Union Atlantic should cement his reputation as one of America’s great young authors — there aren’t many writers this original, and this intelligent, both intellectually and emotionally, around these days. It’s been years since a novel has captured the zeitgeist of contemporary America this well; it’s been years since a new author has convinced us, with just two books, that there might be nothing he can’t do.”

New York Magazine explains the novel’s winding road toward fruition thus: “[Haslett] had decided to imagine himself inside the Fed’s massive, impregnable doors ten years ago, before he went to Yale Law School and before he wrote a collection of stories, You Are Not a Stranger Here, that earned Haslett a 2003 Pulitzer nomination and a plug from his former teacher at Swarthmore, Jonathan Franzen. Haslett finished his law degree soon after his book unexpectedly hit the best-seller list, but he has never practiced.

Union Atlantic is an unlikely follow-up to those intensely insular stories. The new novel, which deftly interweaves harrowing plot twists and tragic character studies, also manages to probe the twin fatal obsessions of the aughts: military hubris and a manic banking spree untethered from any sense of public accountability. But the biggest shock came the week Haslett finished the book, which was also the week Lehman Brothers collapsed.”

Find out more about Union Atlantic on Haslett’s website. Look for it on shelves February 9th.