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The Virgins

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Its 1979, and Aviva Rossner and Seung Jung are notorious at Auburn Academy. Theyre an unlikely pair at an elite East Coast boarding school (shes Jewish; hes Korean American) and hardly shy when it comes to their sexuality. Aviva is a formerly bookish girl looking for liberation from an unhappy childhood; Seung is an enthusiastic dabbler in drugs and a covert rebel against his demanding immigrant parents. In the minds of their titillated classmates—particularly that of Bruce Bennett-Jones—the couple lives in a realm of pure, indulgent pleasure. But, as is often the case, their fabled relationship is more complicated than it seems: despite their lust and urgency, their virginity remains intact, and as they struggle to understand each other, the relationship spirals into disaster.

The Virgins is the story of Aviva and Seungs descent into confusion and shame, as re-imagined in richly detailed episodes by their classmate Bruce, a once-embittered voyeur turned repentant narrator. With unflinching honesty and breathtaking prose, Pamela Erens brings a fresh voice to the tradition of the great boarding school novel.

Review:

"In Erens's (The Understory) second novel students Seung Jung and Aviva Rossner are widely known at Auburn Academy boarding school for flaunting their promiscuity. Despite the rumors about their sexual escapades, Seung and Aviva are virgins, unable to consummate their relationship. Set in 1979, Bruce Bennett-Jones, a fellow student, narrates this tale of a seemingly mismatched couple, Seung, a Korean-American boy experimenting with drugs, and Aviva, a Jewish girl trying to find her area of aptitude. From Bruce's perspective, the reader is shown the initial meeting between Seung and Aviva, their growing passion towards each other, the resulting drama and final tragedy. Meanwhile, Bruce's own desire for Aviva is apparent, but his failed initial attempt prevents him from pursuing her. Instead, Bruce uses Aviva as the focus of his sexual fantasies. Erens effectively depicts both Seung's frustration in being unable to satisfy Aviva physically and Aviva's desperation to let herself fully lose control. Adroitly capturing the anguish of adolescent desire, Eren's latest is a lesson in love, loss, and tragedy. Agent: Anna Stein O'Sullivan, Aitken Alexander Associates, LLC. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Pamela Erens was raised in Chicago and attended Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale University, where she concentrated on literary theory and womens studies. For many years she worked as a magazine editor, including at Glamour. Her editing and freelance journalism have won national awards.

Erenss first novel, The Understory, published in 2007, was the winner of the Ironweed Press Fiction Prize and a finalist for both the 2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction and the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Erens has also published short fiction, poetry, and essays in literary journals and magazines ranging from Chicago Review and New England Review to O: The Oprah Magazine. She is the recipient of two New Jersey State Council on the Arts fellowships in fiction and was a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers Conference.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781935639626
Author:
Erens, Pamela
Publisher:
Tin House Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literature-Coming of Age
Edition Description:
Paperback, Deckle Edge
Publication Date:
20130831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
7.75 x 5 in
Age Level:
Literature-Coming of Age

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Coming of Age

The Virgins New Trade Paper
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Product details 288 pages Tin House Books - English 9781935639626 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In Erens's (The Understory) second novel students Seung Jung and Aviva Rossner are widely known at Auburn Academy boarding school for flaunting their promiscuity. Despite the rumors about their sexual escapades, Seung and Aviva are virgins, unable to consummate their relationship. Set in 1979, Bruce Bennett-Jones, a fellow student, narrates this tale of a seemingly mismatched couple, Seung, a Korean-American boy experimenting with drugs, and Aviva, a Jewish girl trying to find her area of aptitude. From Bruce's perspective, the reader is shown the initial meeting between Seung and Aviva, their growing passion towards each other, the resulting drama and final tragedy. Meanwhile, Bruce's own desire for Aviva is apparent, but his failed initial attempt prevents him from pursuing her. Instead, Bruce uses Aviva as the focus of his sexual fantasies. Erens effectively depicts both Seung's frustration in being unable to satisfy Aviva physically and Aviva's desperation to let herself fully lose control. Adroitly capturing the anguish of adolescent desire, Eren's latest is a lesson in love, loss, and tragedy. Agent: Anna Stein O'Sullivan, Aitken Alexander Associates, LLC. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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