Trust: Hernan Diaz with Jean Strouse

Tue. May 31, 2022 6:00pm - 7:00pm EDT
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The Pulitzer Prize Finalist discusses his novel about money, family, and perception. 

Book Cover of TrustBenjamin and Helen Rask are famous in 1920s New York; he is a Wall Street tycoon and she is the daughter of eccentric aristocrats. They have risen to the top of a world of extreme wealth just as a decade of excess collapses. But at what cost have they acquired their immense fortune? This is the mystery at the center of Bonds, a successful 1937 novel that all of New York seems to have read. Yet there are other versions of this tale of privilege and deceit. In Trust, Hernan Diaz puts these competing narratives into conversation with one another—and in tension with the perspective of one woman bent on finding the truth. The result is a novel filled with revelations that unfold over the course of a century.

Hernan Diaz researched and wrote Trust during his 2020–2021 Fellowship at the Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. He will discuss the novel with award-winning biographer and critic Jean Strouse.

To join in-person | Please be sure to register for an In-Person Ticket. Doors will open around 5:30 PM. For free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Priority will be given to those who have registered in advance, but registration does not guarantee admission. All registered seats are released shortly before start time, and seats may become available at that time. A standby line will form 30 minutes before the program.

To join the livestream | A livestream of this event will be available on the NYPL event page. To receive an email reminder shortly in advance of the event, please be sure to register!


The New York Public Library no longer mandates proof of vaccination at indoor public programs.

Patrons are strongly encouraged to wear a mask at Conversations from the Cullman Center events.

If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or suspect you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, please stay home.


In-Person | Assistive listening devices and/or hearing loops are available at the venue. You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation or CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning service by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email or use this Gmail template. This venue is fully accessible to wheelchairs. 

Livestream | Captions and a transcript will be provided. Media used over the course of the conversation will be accompanied by alt text and/or audio description. You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email or use this Gmail template.


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Hernan Diaz is the author of two novels translated into more than twenty languages, and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award. He has published stories and essays in the Paris Review, Granta, Playboy, the Yale Review, McSweeney’s, and elsewhere. His first novel, In the Distance, won the Saroyan International Prize, the Cabell Award, the Prix Page America, and the New American Voices Award, among other distinctions. It was also a Publishers Weekly Top 10 Book of the Year and one of Lit Hub’s 20 Best Novels of the Decade. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Award, and fellowships from the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, MacDowell, Yaddo, and the Ingmar Bergman Estate. Trust is his second novel.


Jean Strouse is the author of Morgan: American Financier and Alice James: A Biography, which won the Bancroft Prize in American History. Her essays and reviews have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Architectural Digest, Vogue, and Slate. She has held fellowships from the MacArthur and Guggenheim Foundations and the National Endowment for the Humanities. A past president of the Society of American Historians, she served as director of the Cullman Center from 2003 to 2017. Currently she is writing a book about twelve portraits by John Singer Sargent of the family of Asher Wertheimer, a prominent London art dealer.



Please submit all press inquiries to Sara Beth Joren at least 48 hours before the event: email or use this Gmail template.

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The Cullman Center is made possible by a generous endowment from Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman in honor of Brooke Russell Astor, with major support provided by Mrs. John L. Weinberg, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Estate of Charles J. Liebman, The von der Heyden Family Foundation, John and Constance Birkelund, and The Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, and with additional gifts from Helen and Roger Alcaly, The Rona Jaffe Foundation, The Arts and Letters Foundation Inc., William W. Karatz, Merilee and Roy Bostock, and Cullman Center Fellows.

Hernan Diaz © Pascal Perich

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Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Margaret Liebman Berger Forum (2nd Fl) 476 5th Ave
New York, NY 10018