Novelists Remember the Aughties

On the final Sunday of the decade, The New York Times has handed over its op-ed page to some of the nation’s most talented writers: Richard Ford, Richard Powers, Colum McCann, and Jonathan Safran Foer, among others. “Fiction deals elegantly with issues that politics eventually wrestles with, corrupts, destroys, but nothing specific had been written to prepare me for President Obama,” McCann writes. “I wasn’t able to align him with any fiction, and yet it seemed that so much of literature has worked toward the moment.” Ford is less celebratory, writing, “But 2000, if it looks like anything now, looks like a year in which we proved ourselves not to be a completely thriving democracy but rather a dangerously ambivalent and inattentive one.”