Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Arresting . . . uncannily evokes the wry voice of adolescence and a mixture of curiosity, lust, tenderness, morbidity, cynicism, and the naivete surrounding these bizarre events." The Wall Street Journal
"A piercing first novel . . . Incantatory prose . . . The narrator's hypnotic voice succeeds in transporting us to that mythic realm where fate, not common sense or psychology, holds sway. By turns lyrical and portentous, ferocious and elegiac, The Virgin Suicides insinuates itself into our minds as a small but powerful opera in the unexpected form of a novel." The New York Times
"[A] comic and elegiac first novel . . . Eugenides is one of those rare writers who can manage sympathy and detachment simultaneously — and work small wonders with words while he's at it. As The Virgin Suicides puts its heroines through hell, its readers, weirdly enough, will be delighted." Newsweek
"[A]n auspicious debut from an imaginative and talented writer." Publishers Weekly
Juxtaposing the most common and the most gothic, the humorous and the tragic, Jeffrey Eugenides creates a vivid and compelling portrait of youth and lost innocence. He takes us back to the elm-lined streets of suburbia in the seventies, and introduces us to the men whose lives have been forever changed by their fierce, awkward obsession with five doomed sisters: brainy Therese, fastidious Mary, ascetic Bonnie, libertine Lux, and pale, saintly Cecilia, whose spectacular demise inaugurates "the year of the suicides." This is the debut novel that caused a sensation and won immediate acclaim from the critics — a tender, wickedly funny tale of love and terror, sex and suicide, memory and imagination.
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.
About the Author
Jeffrey Eugenides was born in Detroit and attended Brown and Stanford universities. The Virgin Suicides was published in 1993 and was adapted into a motion picture in 1999 by Sophia Coppola. His second novel, Middlesex won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003. He joined the faculty of Princeton University in the fall of 2007.