The Virgin Suicides

A Novel

Jeffrey Eugenides

Picador

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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.

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Book Excerpts

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Chapter One

 

On the morning the last Lisbon daughter took her turn at suicide—it was Mary this time, and sleeping pills, like Therese—the two paramedics arrived at the house knowing exactly where the knife drawer was, and the gas oven, and the beam in the basement from which it was possible to tie a rope. They got out of the EMS truck, as usual moving much too slowly in our opinion, and the fat one said under his breath, "This ain't TV, folks, this is how fast we go." He was carrying the heavy respirator and cardiac unit past the bushes that had grown monstrous and

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Jeffrey Eugenides Talks with The New York Times

Sam Tanenhaus of the New York Times interviews the author in his hometown of Detroit about his novels.

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Reviews

Praise for The Virgin Suicides

"A piercing first novel . . . lyrical and portentous."--The New York Times

"Mr. Eugenides is blessed with the storyteller's most magical gift, the ability to transform the mundane into the extraordinary."--The New York Times Book Review

"Arresting . . . uncannily evokes the wry voice of adolescence and a mixture of curiosity, lust, tenderness, morbidity, cynicism, and the naïveté surrounding these bizarre events."--The Wall Street Journal

“What can one say about The Virgin Suicides that hasn’t already been said? Jeffrey Eugenides’ brilliant debut has already attained classic status since its first publication in 1993, an estimation accelerated by Sophia Coppola’s exquisite 1999 film adaptation. It is that rare novel which enjoys equal adoration from the critical elite and the public at large, a contemporary heir to The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird…. few other works of modern literature evoke such a unique confluence of wistfulness and doom…”
“Picador’s new paperback edition of The Virgin Suicides bears a modest white sleeve with an evocative cover image of lackadaisical teenagers lounging in a field of grass. The understatement of the binding is complemented by the rest of the package: Short of breadth, with larger than average type, it resembles nothing so much as what children refer to as a ‘chapter book.’ This sparsity of presentation is entirely appropriate, reflecting the marred innocence of the Lisbon girls themselves. The Virgin Suicides is a precious item, a timeless document of the eternal pangs of youth, a work which deserves to be savored and treasured and shared.”
—Michael Munro, PLAYBACK:stl

In the Press

Work in Progress » Blog Archive » Jeffrey Eugenides on the Marriage Plot
At BookExpo America, the annual conference for booksellers, librarians and publishers, novelist Jeffrey Eugenides previewed The Marriage Plot, his much anticipated follow-up to Middlesex. (Astute Work in Progress readers may remember his conversation with editor Jonathan Galassi from our debut issue.
- FSG's Work in Progress

Work in Progress » Blog Archive » How to Read a Novelist
Jeffrey Eugenides by John Freeman For the past fifteen years or so, whenever a novel has been published, John Freeman has been there to greet it. As a critic for over two hundred newspapers worldwide and onetime president of the NBCC, he's reviewed thousands of books and interviewed hundreds of authors.
- FSG's Work in Progress

Work in Progress » Blog Archive » Editor & Author: Jonathan Galassi and Jeffrey Eugenides
One of the most anticipated new books around the FSG offices (and out in the real world, I daresay) is Jeffrey Eugenides' follow-up to Middlesex.
- FSG's Work in Progress

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About the Author

Jeffrey Eugenides

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.

Jeffrey Eugenides

Copyright Karen Yamauchi
Jeffrey Eugenides

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Virgin Suicides
A Novel
Jeffrey Eugenides

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
April 2009
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312428815
ISBN10: 0312428812
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 256 pages
$15.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
April 1993
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429960441
ISBN10: 1429960442
249 pages
$9.99
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From The Publisher

Picador

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