Fan Girling: Jeffrey Eugenides


I don’t know how I’ve managed to have a blog for over a year without a single mention of a book. Seriously, people who know me are well aware of my addiction enthusiasm for the written word, so I figured I would’ve already (figuratively) doodled the name of the book I’m currently in love with all over this blog.

Anyway, this morning I was looking at the fall book preview (thanks Amazon!), when I saw a name all too familiar and exciting to me- Jeffrey Eugenides. I looked again, and made sure it was actually his name, then I looked to see what year I was in (he seems to favor publishing about every 10 years) and noticed that it had actually been the allotted time for him to finish something and then I allowed myself a few moments to fist pump and scream loudly while the A-Team theme song played in my head.

Jeffrey Eugenides!  New book! October! I love his work- I remember being so fascinated by Virgin Suicides, so intrigued by Middlesex, because a man who can tackle suicide and hermaphroditic subject matter in a respectful, intelligent and non-condescending way is awesome.  Plus, he is an author that is actually alive at the same time I am which is not a common thing for me (maybe I love Zombies too?).

Anyway, reading the plot for the book made me feel a lot of ‘meh’ because, really, the marriage plot? Sometimes I wonder if I came out as a defective model because I cannot stomach that plot narrative- I am the only girl I know who doesn’t really consider Jane Austen a delight (Fact: If Jane and I were ever at a party, I’d do the small talk bit and then book it to go talk to Emily Dickinson). I’ve only finished Persuasion (another subject for another day), and I felt sort of unfulfilled by it. It was the equivalent of a lukewarm taco- edible but not really a delight. To all my Jane Austen loving Anglophile friends, save the saliva, and save the sermon.

My recommendation? Go read Middlesex or The Virgin Suicides- they’re really interesting. He’s such a great writer, seriously, I have a major crush on his prose and sentence structure. I mean, this is the man who writes sentences like this:

Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words.  I don’t believe in ‘sadness’, ‘joy’, or ‘regret’.  Maybe the best proof that  language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions.

Basically, I want to write as well as he does- but as girl. And a non-Greek Latina.
And a 20 something. And without getting tuberculosis and dying in my 40s as a spinster.
Shut up, a girl can dream.


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