Synopses & Reviews
The eagerly anticipated debut novel from the author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist You Are Not a Stranger Here
: a deeply affecting portrait of the modern gilded age, the first decade of the twenty-first century.
At the heart of Union Atlantic lies a test of wills between a young banker, Doug Fanning, and a retired schoolteacher, Charlotte Graves, whose two dogs have begun to speak to her. When Doug builds an ostentatious mansion on land that Charlotte's grandfather donated to the town of Finden, Massachusetts, she determines to oust him in court. As a senior manager of Union Atlantic bank, a major financial conglomerate, Doug is embroiled in the company's struggle to remain afloat. It is Charlotte's brother, Henry Graves, the president of the New York Federal Reserve, who must keep a watchful eye on Union Atlantic and the entire financial system. Drawn into Doug and Charlotte's intensifying conflict is Nate Fuller, a troubled high-school senior who unwittingly stirs powerful emotions in each of them.
Irresistibly complex, imaginative, and witty, Union Atlantic is a singular work of fiction that is sure to be read and reread long after it causes a sensation this spring.
"In Haslett's excellent first novel (following Pulitzer and National Book Award finalist short story collection You Are Not a Stranger Here), a titan of the banking industry does battle with a surprisingly formidable opponent: a retired history teacher. Doug Fanning has built Union Atlantic from a mid-size Boston bank to an international powerhouse and rewards himself by building a rural palace in Finden, Mass. The land his house is built on, however, had been donated to Finden for preservation by Charlotte Graves's grandfather, and Charlotte believes she now has a claim on the lot. She may be right, and her disdain of modern decadence means bad news for Doug should she win in court. Meanwhile, high school senior Nate Fuller, who visits Charlotte for tutoring and Doug for awkward and lopsided sexual encounters, finds himself with the power to upset the legal and cultural war game. Haslett's novel is smart and carefully constructed, and his characters are brilliantly flawed. (Charlotte's emerging instability is especially heartbreaking.) This book should be of interest to readers fascinated but perplexed by the current financial crisis, as it is able to navigate the oubliette of Wall Street trading to create searing and intimate drama." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The first great novel of the new century. It's big and ambitious, like novels used to be. It's about us, now. All of us." Esquire
"In Union Atlantic, swiftly and confidently, Haslett unwinds the ball of yarn that is the global financial crisis to reveal its core: a knot of ineluctable yearnings and individual needs." Liesl Schillinger, The New York Times Book Review
"In Haslett's hands, the potentially dry descriptions of a complicated series of fiscal gambits and regulatory policy spring to dramatic life....While Union Atlantic indicts the machinations and collusions that allow rogue bankers to lose billions with impunity, the book's politics are rewardingly complex." Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Reminiscent of Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities, Haslett's novel is a fast, compelling read, and a cautionary tale of our time....Haslett proves himself capable of writing a page-turner of the banking world and a timely read." Dallas Morning News
"Union Atlantic is more than a financial page-turner. It is an ambitious literary work, filled with compelling characters, evocative prose and finely drawn social portraiture....Decades from now, this fine novel will help readers understand the period we've just been through." The Wall Street Journal
"[A] strange, elegant story....It's a profound, strikingly intelligent story about the cost of living in a world in which real values have been supplanted by a fiat currency of self-interest and empty promises." Ron Charles, The Washington Post
"Adam Haslett has the rarest of talents: the ability to combine a powerful intelligence with storytelling that is both elegant and suspenseful, and to break your heart in the process. Union Atlantic is a masterful portrait of our age." Malcolm Gladwell
The eagerly anticipated debut novel from the author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist You Are Not a Stranger Here, Union Atlantic is a deeply affecting portrait of the modern gilded age, the first decade of the 21st century.
About the Author
Adam Haslett's short-story collection You Are Not a Stranger Here was a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. It has been translated into fifteen languages. He lives in New York.