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Sunday, 6 November 2011

Jeffrey Eugenides is mine! (But please buy his book)

Like all good obsessive fans, I feel a special ownership over Jeffrey Eugenides. His books have all come out in my adult life, therefore I feel I can say, people, "he's mine" or not so creepily since D+Q operates the store I can say, "buy his book". When he comes to Montreal later this month, I may have to venture out of Mile End to see if I get a celebrity sighting. Sadly, his event is sold-out.
VIRGIN SUICIDES came out when I was a freshman in college, and --please do not do this in our store-- I admit to riding my bike to the Barnes & Noble across the street from the mall I worked at on my lunch hour to read it. Took me about a week and a half. This book transfixed me, I was lucky not to have been hit by a car across the boulevard as the book left me in as much of a dream state at the Lisbon girls. It was like reading the book version of PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK. Both works are deft with impact.

Ten years later I was equally taken with MIDDLESEX. A contemporary multigenerational epic about gender, identity and suburbia that is basically like no other story you will come across, probably why it wont that ole Pulitzer. And since I am a comic book publicist I read many reviews of how such stories can only be told in comic book form, I can't ever picture the story of Cal as a movie or a comic or anything but what it is. I say this also because as most people know, Sophia Coppola did a fantastic adaptation of VIRGIN SUICIDES.

From here, we have Eugenides latest novel, THE MARRIAGE PLOT, which is an East Coast collegiate drama, and it's interesting that the writer that I discovered in college now pens a story that reminds me of my college days: insecurity, books, pretensions, more books, the brink of adulthood, more books and boys who were religion majors (THE WORST!). Unlike his first two books, I can't pinpoint exactly why I liked this book, just that I did, that I read it in less than a week, and that I think you will like it, too. There are many more eloquent opinions out there, and they all agree. Here, here and here. He can be yours too.

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