Début de Siecle

One book we’re loving at the moment is Hernan Diaz’s sumptuous Trust, the story of a marriage amid the high society, high finance and high stakes of 1920s New York. It has won the Kirkus Prize and shared the fiction Pulitzer with Barbara Kingsolver’s superb Demon Copperhead in 2022 – and it was released in paperback earlier this summer.

This got us thinking about books that summon up the spirit of an age, and in particular how the early twentieth century, that crucible of modernity, seems to speak to our contemporary moment with such clarity. So here’s a list of some stunning works of fiction, drama and verse written in or about the first decades of the twentieth century that reveal the hopes, fears, passions and predictions of a generation.