A friend recently came across a book review that described my novel, The Darlings, as a “financial thriller.” She wrinkled her nose. “Financial thriller?” she asked me. “Isn’t that an oxymoron?”
At first blush, finance can seem dry. The language of hedge funds and bond trading is admittedly anything but thrilling. The financial world is, however, wonderfully fertile ground for literary exploration. It’s populated with villains and heroes. Many of the themes commonly found in great literature—greed, power, loyalty, morality—play out in grand scale on Wall Street on a daily basis. And with the recent economic collapse at the forefront of our consciousness, it makes sense that finance would increasingly find its way into fiction.
Read the full article at World Literature Today
I didn’t buy Bergdorf Blondes. It was dropped off at my apartment by a friend, with a note that read:
Cheer up. Stop wallowing. Call me.
PS: no more Gilmore Girls reruns, seriously.
It was the summer of 2005. I was fresh off the heels of a bad breakup. To say I was wallowing in self-pity was generous. I was drowning in it. My summer job had ended and school hadn’t yet begun, so I was free to spend my days in sweatpants on my couch, watching bad television.
I’m really not one for this kind of thing. Truly, I’m not. Ordinarily, I would have recoiled from a perky Tiffany-blue cover emblazoned with a gigantic pink diamond ring. I would have never made it past the first line: “Bergdorf Blondes are a thing you know, a New York craze. Absolutely everyone wants to be one, but it’s actually tres difficult…” If I wanted to read a social comedy, I would pick up Emma orVile Bodies, thank you very much. But I was in a weakened state. I was watching six episodes ofGilmore Girls a day. Culturally speaking, I had nowhere to go but up.
Every only child knows there is a difference between being lonely and being alone. Growing up in Manhattan, I was a master at entertaining myself; I had an older half sister, but she didn’t live with me, so I was usually my own favorite company.
There was one phase I went through — I was 6 at the time, maybe 7 — when I would get home from school, race upstairs and close my door. I didn’t have homework yet. I was working on something far more sophisticated than coloring books or puzzles. I was playing Office. In order to play Office, I had to get into character. I would don one of my dad’s suit jackets — I preferred a nice gray pinstripe — and would attempt to balance a spare pair of his glasses on my small snub nose. Sometimes I would shuffle around in his wingtips. Then I would organize piles of papers on my desk, filing them away in folders once they had been properly reviewed. If the mood struck me, I pretended to read The Wall Street Journal.
Bravo announced plans to develop THE DARLINGS into a scripted series. Read more about this project here.
See the full review here.
"Cristina Alger is so good, you just know she's an inside trader--as intimately familiar with the inner workings of Wall Street investment banks as she is with haute Manhattan social life. She's also a gifted storyteller. The Darlings is an utterly compelling novel, as knowing about family as it is about money and social status, and may be the best literary product of the financial crisis to date."
–Jay McInerney, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Life