In the Great Depression, it was Steinbeck capturing the pain. In the “greed is good” 80s, it was Tom Wolfe with “Bonfire of the Vanities” capturing the greed.
In this time — our time of Enron and Madoff and bonus billions and bailout — we’ve been waiting for the author, the fiction, to show us what we’ve been up to. Or down to.
Adam Haslett’s new “Union Atlantic” is a start. Bankers acting badly. Old morals and principles, rolled over. Super McMansions and high drama in the vaults of the Federal Reserve.
This hour, On Point: reading our grandly grubby times in Adam Haslett’s “Union Atlantic.”
Joining us first from Washington is David Kirkpatrick, reporter for The New York Times covering money and politics.
Adam Haslett joins us from New York. Author of the new novel “Union Atlantic,” his collection of short stories, “You Are Not a Stranger Here,” was a finalist for the 2002 National Book Award and the 2003 Pulitzer Prize.
Read an excerpt from “Union Atlantic” at Esquire.com.
And from Hanover, N.H., we’re joined by Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and senior editor at The Atlantic. He’s the author of “Age of Betrayal: The Triumph of Money in America, 1865-1900,″ a thematic history of the Gilded Age, and editor of the anthology “Colossus: How the Corporation Changed America.”