First published in 1993, The Virgin Suicides announced the arrival of a major new American novelist. In a quiet suburb of Detroit, the five Lisbon sisters—beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively watched by the neighborhood boys—commit suicide one by one over the course of a single year. As the boys observe them from afar, transfixed, they piece together the mystery of the family’s fatal melancholy, in this hypnotic and unforgettable novel of adolescent love, disquiet, and death. Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time. Adapted into a critically acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola, The Virgin Suicides is a modern classic, a lyrical and timeless tale of sex and suicide that transforms and mythologizes suburban middle-American life.
This beautiful and sad first novel, recently adapted for a major motion picture, tells of a band of teenage sleuths who piece together the story of a twenty-year old family tragedy begun by the youngest daughter's spectacular demise by self-defenstration, which inaugurates "the year of the suicides."
Based on the best-selling novel by Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides is director Sofia Coppola’s evocative debut feature of young love, sex, loss and family pressures in mid-1970s America. Acclaimed by both critics and audiences on release, the film is now viewed as a remarkable and bold feature by a significant female director addressing many issues related to youth, female sexuality and family. This book helps readers understand the film’s significance and the stylistic and storytelling choices made by director Coppola. The analysis of the film occurs around three interlocking arguments: the unusual structuring absence in the film, the intricate manner through which music is used in the drama, communication and character creation, and the film’s careful and specific referencing of advertising in the 1970s (the decade of the film’s narrative). The film’s enigmatic structure and unique storytelling devices and their relationship to female adolescence, sexuality and ideology are also considered in depth. Without solving the mysteries of the film, the book is designed to uncover the reasons why the film continues to fascinate viewers so many years after its release.
Analysing the development of narration in millennial fiction, particularly in Eugenides and Zuzak's novels, which explores how consciousness and narration has become shaped by the advancements of technology.
Offbeat movie buffs, discerning video renters, and critical viewers will benefit from this roll call of the best overlooked films of the last 70 years. Richard Crouse, film critic and host of televisions award-winning Reel to Real, details his favorite films, from the sublime Monsoon Wedding to the ridiculous Eegah! The Name Written in Blood. Each movie is featured with a detailed description of plot, notable trivia tidbits, critical reviews, and interviews with actors and filmmakers. Featured interviews include Bill Wyman on a little-known Rolling Stones documentary, schlockmeister Lloyd Kaufman on the history of the Toxic Avenger, reclusive writer and director Hampton Fancher on his film The Minus Man, and B-movie hero Bruce Campbell on playing Elvis Presley in Bubba Ho-Tep. Sidebars feature quirky details, including legal disclaimers and memorable quotes.
Fictive Fathers in the Contemporary American Novel explores the unstable construction of heteronormative white masculinity in the contemporary United States by focusing on relationships between fathers and their children. Debra Shostak reads the novels of 18 North American writers publishing in the late 20th and early 21st centuries as allegories of cultural conflict and change within the nuclear family; the authors considered include Paul Auster, Don DeLillo, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jonathan Safran Foer, Jonathan Franzen, John Irving, Jonathan Lethem, Carole Maso, Bobbie Ann Mason, Cormac McCarthy, Claire Messud, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Tim O'Brien, Marilynne Robinson, Philip Roth, Mona Simpson, Jane Smiley, and Anne Tyler. These novelists portray father figures who, often literally or figuratively absent from the family scene, disrupt the familial order and their family members' identities. Shostak's close readings illuminate unexpectedly conservative, even subversive, ideological positions at the heart of these fictions. Fictive Fathers traces the eroding myth of paternal authority that sustained a patriarchal model within real American families and their literary representations.
This study aims to counter right-wing discourses of belonging. It discusses key theoretical concepts for the study of home, focusing in particular on Marxist, feminist, postcolonial, and psychoanalytic contributions. The book also maintains that postmodern celebrations of nomadism and exile tend to be incapable of providing an alternative to conservative, xenophobic appropriations of home. In detailed readings of one film and six novels, a view is developed according to which home, as a spatio-temporal imaginary, is rooted in our species being, and as such constitutes the inevitable starting point for any progressive politics.
The first collection of short fiction from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Eugenides Jeffrey Eugenides’s bestselling novels have shown him to be an astute observer of the crises of adolescence, self-discovery, family love, and what it means to be American in our times. The stories in Fresh Complaint explore equally rich—and intriguing—territory. Ranging from the bitingly reproductive antics of “Baster” to the dreamy, moving account of a young traveler’s search for enlightenment in “Air Mail” (selected by Annie Proulx for Best American Short Stories), this collection presents characters in the midst of personal and national emergencies. We meet a failed poet who, envious of other people’s wealth during the real-estate bubble, becomes an embezzler; a clavichordist whose dreams of art founder under the obligations of marriage and fatherhood; and, in “Fresh Complaint,” a high school student whose wish to escape the strictures of her immigrant family lead her to a drastic decision that upends the life of a middle-aged British physicist. Narratively compelling, beautifully written, and packed with a density of ideas despite their fluid grace, these stories chart the development and maturation of a major American writer.