23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023

Hernan Diaz

Hernan Diaz was born in Argentina in 1973 and grew up in Sweden. He studied literature at the University of Buenos Aires and King’s College in London and earned his doctorate at New York University.

His first novel, »In the Distance«, was published in 2017 and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. The novel is set in America in the mid-19th century and tells the story of the young Swede Håkan Söderström, who sets off on foot and without money from San Francisco to New York, where he hopes to reunite with his brother. Thus begins his long journey east, against the current of the settlers and full of bizarre encounters. Håkan joins a family of gold prospectors, is captured, manages to escape, and appears on a wanted poster for standing up for the weak. Soon widely known as »Hawk«, he enjoys incredible fame and is said to possess abilities beyond what is humanly possible. The »Guardian« described the novel as »a page-turning adventure story that’s also a profound meditation on solitude and companionship, foreignness and home; a bildungsroman in the grand 19th-century tradition that is also a fierce critique of the romanticized myths of the settlement of the American west«.

Hernan Diaz’s second novel, »Trust«, was published in 2022 and translated into over twenty languages. Divided into four parts, the novel first tells the story of the glamourous Benjamin and Helen Rask. Set in 1920s New York, he is a financial magnate and she is a daughter from an aristocratic family. But this is just a story; a fictionalization, as is made clear when the novel’s second part turns to the memoirs of Andrew Bevel, the inspiration for Benjamin Rask. While the third and fourth parts also present new perspectives, one theme remains central to the novel: »the force – the sheer magnetic, mystical, transcendental force – of money« which, according to an interview with »Publishers Weekly«, the author set out to explore. Critics praised the novel for its stylistic elegance and ingenious construction: »Vogue« stated that »the uniquely brilliant way in which Diaz tells that story, as meticulously researched as it is narratively exhilarating, makes it a novel not just for the present age but for the ages«.

The author lives in New York City.

Date: 2022