For Union Atlantic

The Washington Post

“Adam Haslett may be our F. Scott Fitzgerald, an author capable of memorializing our crash in all its personal cost and lurid beauty. His first novel, ‘Union Atlantic,’ is a strange, elegant story that illuminates the financial and moral calamity of the young 21st century.”


The New York Times

“The eerie overlap of Haslett’s narrative with current events in the American economy gives ‘Union Atlantic’ unusual impact. This timely novel demonstrates not only how the financial crisis happened but why — by documenting the intersection of big, blunt historical forces with tiny, intricate, cumulatively powerful personal impulses. Businesses become too big to fail, Haslett suggests, because individuals fail one another, in a snowball effect.”


The Boston Globe

“Exceedingly well written…a high-spirited, slyly astute exploration of our great bottoming out.”


The Wall Street Journal

“Nightstands are already stacked with nonfiction accounts of our recent gilded age and the financial crisis that ended it. ‘Union Atlantic’ is the first serious fictional portrait of the bailout era—in which the unbridled risk-taking of our banking institutions bumped up against powerful government officials trying to keep the system afloat. Decades from now, this fine novel will help readers understand the period we’ve just been through.”



“You know what else Union Atlantic is? Fun. For all its big ambition, this is a novel that clocks in at just over 300 pages, and those pages go fast. Haslett writes with incredible style, but it’s never showy; you’ll consciously have to stop to admire it…He can do screwball (this is an author who clearly has first-hand experience of being a high school kid on ‘shrooms) and he has a refreshing bent for packing all those Big Ideas into witty little packages. (Henry on Charlotte: “Here was his sister’s familiar recipe: well-meaning condescension leavened by faith in meritocracy and finished off with a dose of liberal apocalypse.”) And he does it all with modesty and a depth of feeling for his characters that imbues, yet never seeks to explain away, their essence…Union Atlantic is an indispensable book of the new century, because no book has nailed the new century so squarely.”


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Union Atlantic will possibly be the quintessential American novel of the first decade of the 21st century.”


Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“Admirers of Adam Haslett’s 2002 debut story collection should rejoice at the news, this many years later, of the gifted writer’s first novel…Emerging here as a sort of E.M. Forster of the aughts, Haslett high-steps nimbly from great tenderness to arch social satire, and from the civic to the personal. He even manages to make monetary systems — ‘loans, lines of credit, borrowed money, the vast creationary incentive of compound interest, blind artificer of the modern world’ — glow like poetry.”


Wall Street Journal Profile


New York Magazine Profile of the Author



“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.”


Esquire Magazine Best & Brightest:
“As tempting as it is to see Union Atlantic as a validation not only of Haslett’s concerns but also of Mailer’s and Wolfe’s, the latter were in the business of repudiating the literary novel, and Haslett is in the business of reclaiming the territory the literary novel has forsaken. He has written the first great novel of the new century that takes the new century as its subject, but not simply because it takes the new century as its subject —not simply because Haslett has done the research and can explain proprietary trading with brisk authority even as he can sing of the “vast creationary incentive of compound interest, blind artificer of the modern world.” Rather, Haslett has written a great novel because he has emerged in Union Atlantic as a great novelist, a mystery as abiding as any of the mysteries of the Fed —indeed, a mystery restored, even as the mysteries of the Fed are revealed.”


Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review:

“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…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.) Navigates the oubliette of Wall Street trading to create searing and intimate drama.”


Elle Magazine Review:

“The social, cultural, personal, and professional pornographies that Haslett explores—including war, greed, illicit relations, sexism, and suicide— are laid out with a forensic formality through which startling passages of lyric precision and picturesqueness frequently emerge…Union Atlantic is a bleak, brazen, beauty of a book.”


Louisville Courier-Journal Profile


Publisher’s Weekly Profile


The Guardian Arts Section

“At the Frankfurt book fair, this year’s hot read is a first novel by American Adam Haslett, author of the award-winning collection of short stories You Are Not a Stranger Here. ‘It’s a kind of parable for our time,’ reports our Frankfurt spy. ‘I think it could become a defining book.'”


For You Are Not a Stranger Here

New York Times Book Review, (front cover) Craig Seligman

“You should buy this book, you should read it, and you should admire it as much as I do. There’s not a clinker in the group, and this consistency, along with the maturity and the austerity and the exceptional tact of the writing, gives every indication that unless something goes radically haywire, ”You Are Not a Stranger Here” is the herald of a phenomenal career.” Read more…


New York Times, Michiko Kakutani

“Adam Haslett, the author of this debut collection of stories, possesses a rich assortment of literary gifts: an instinctive empathy for his characters and an ability to map their inner lives in startling detail; a knack for graceful, evocative prose; and a determination to trace the hidden arithmetic of relationships — between fathers and sons, sisters and brothers, lovers and friends.” Read more…


Time Magazine

“A debut collection of nine beautifully fashioned short stories, many about people who are mentally troubled and helpless to escape themselves. Haslett’s characters are often people who suffer in a terrible subdepartment of hell — they feel their own minds are gaining on them — but he makes their pain graspable, their confusions lucid. Is his book a downer? Only if a first rate young writer bursting out of the box can’t make you smile.” Read more…


The Boston Globe, (arts section front cover) Gail Caldwell

Adam Haslett’s debut stories are almost frighteningly tender, because they take the worst sort of losses and make of them a footpath to human connection. With its economy and requisite mystery, the short story can lend itself to mannered darkness: Think of Richard Yates’s damaged men, or the combat-weary narrators (with or without a war) of Thom Jones and Denis Johnson. As with a solar eclipse, plot is best perceived peripherally, gathering force by hint or implication rather than by what already is. Haslett seems to grasp intuitively these age-old tenets, for this collection displays an order as natural as a tree branch in winter – lithe and achingly austere.”