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The US’s total wealth more than doubled between 1920 and 1929, sweeping many Americans into an affluent but unfamiliar consumer society, while others experienced extreme poverty. The epic boom ended in a cataclysmic bust. On Black Monday, October 28 1929, the Dow declined nearly 13%. On the next day, Black Tuesday, the market dropped nearly 12%. By mid-November, the Dow had lost almost half of its value. The devastating Wall Street crash signalled the beginning of the Great Depression.

Hernan Diaz’s dazzling new novel Trust aims to reveal what happened to an upper-class Manhattan couple during the Roaring Twenties and Great Depression, when a Wall Street tycoon enhanced his wealth as his contemporaries lost theirs. The title refers not only to financial trusts but also the trust we place in each other, the contract between reader and author...

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