Renowned for his bestselling novels, The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex, Pulitzer Prize-winner Jeffrey Eugenides is known for his ability to brilliantly depict modern American life in a way that seems to resonate with readers around the world. His ability to portray his characters’ inner landscapes with poignant insight and intensity are what made him famous and catapulted his novel The Virgin Suicides to international success.
With The Virgin Suicides, as well as his second novel, Middlesex, Eugenides combines lyrical, comedic and tragic elements into highly touching, personal and compelling material, that connects deeply with his audience with a unique, imaginative voice and fascinating narrative. His work is deeply affecting in its tendency to touch on a myriad of emotions, issues and perspectives, while maintaining an addictive enjoyableness and highly entertaining wit all the while.
The Virgin Suicides focused on the life of five suburban sisters who commit suicide, told from the perspective of adolescent boys with an undying obsession for them. In this, Eugenides creates a provocative portrait of lost innocence and youth, and he manages to construct a story that is notable both for its engrossing mystery and amazingly dark comedy.
Middlesex tells the story of a hermaphrodite’s life and experiences, focusing on family, gender, identity, sexuality and history. Eugenides is known principally for his widely diverse novels that are inclined to focus on American family life and reality, emotional wisdom, sociological issues and for incorporating elements of humor, pathos and entertainment that tend to make for successful and popular epics. His voice is original and his power is considerable.
Eugenides is entirely arresting in revealing the details of his characters’ lives, whether it is describing location, time period, race, culture and/or ethnicity, he researches his stories and convincingly becomes that which he is aiming to emulate. He continues to be not only hugely successful but also a mesmerizing, masterful author, and he will undoubtedly continue to be successful for many years to come. You can see him at Campbell Hall at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15. Tickets are available at the Arts & Lectures ticket office.