Diary of a Very Bad Year: Confessions of an Anonymous Hedge Fund Manager by n+1, Keith Gessen & Anonymous Hedge Fund Manager, Harper Perennial, 260 pages, $14. 99, Paperback, June 2010, ISBN 9780061965302 Keith Gessen is the founder of n+1, a mostly literary magazine out of New York City, and the author of All the Sad Young Literary Men, which, as you can probably gather from the title, is also thoroughly literary. So, how is it that he has now penned one of the most fascinating books to date on the recent calamity on Wall Street?
n+1: So you look out here onto midtown on the twentieth floor. This is all going to be okay? HFM: That guy there will lose his job. White shirt, futzing about—he'll lose his job. He's putting. There's going to be no room for people like that, the bar is higher. You can't play golf in your office during a crisis. [...] That guy's done! Everyone else is okay.There are books on the crisis whose breadth is seemingly larger—Too Big To Fail, The Big Short, The End of Wall Street. The story lines in those books are sweeping, the personalities larger than life. This book's wealth is in its details, the book's character anonymous but close and personable. When reading Diary of a Very Bad Year, the details gather into a more intimate experience of that wider picture and its sobering implications.