Perhaps this will usher in a new period of volubility. Or not. Eugenides found a critical and popular audience early. At this stage one cannot pick up a new book from him without considering W.

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Perhaps this will usher in a new period of volubility. Or not. Eugenides found a critical and popular audience early. At this stage one cannot pick up a new book from him without considering W. The good news is how solid these stories are anyway. Two or three are excellent; none are total misses.

Line by line, paragraph by paragraph, Eugenides writes like a man who is enjoying himself. The feeling is contagious. The sharper your brain, the more it cut you up. He writes with elegiac wit about middle-class, mostly educated men and women whose lives have begun to grind them down. They have shabby kitchens and get insufficient sleep.

Their careers are stalled and their roofs leak. Loneliness and despair are barely kept at bay. Eugenides pushes these scenarios to extremes that are comic and devastating. One failed academic turns to embezzlement, and is found out. Another man, whose wife has left him, considers suicide without conviction. When he unburdens himself about his problems, he ruins a dinner party.

No one wants to absorb his aria of distress. The comedy in these stories derives from the fact that these people are not quite ready for this world — or at least not ready for what this world has become. Innocence everywhere has been trampled.

In a paragraph that can serve as a keynote, Eugenides writes about how the behavior of our chieftains trickles down and taints daily life. Victory was what counted, power, muscularity, doublespeak if necessary. You saw it in the way people drove, in the way they cut you off, gave you the finger, cursed.

Women and men alike, showing rage and toughness. Everyone knew what he wanted and how to get it. Does Eugenides write memorably about diarrhea? The combustion began high in his intestines. Then it worked its way along, like an egg swallowed by a snake, expanding, stretching the tissue, until, with a series of shudders, it dropped, and he exploded into water. The clavichord complained a lot.

It had done its work and wanted to rest, to retire, like the audience. The tangents broke and had to be repaired. A new key went dead every night. For all of its interest in failure and misbehavior, it is threaded with a strong moral sensibility.

One of these stories is about two women, old friends, and the favorite book they read and reread. But its charm and insight are real, and formidable.


Jeffrey Eugenides’s Short Stories Salvage Wit From Life’s Grind

His latest book, The Marriage Plot is getting a lot of mostly favorable attention from book bloggers. He has also published a number of short stories, mostly in The New Yorker. It is an interesting story of the lives of three generations of Greek-Americans. The main character is an hermaphrodite. As the story opens we meet a successful attractive forty year old New York City Woman, an assistant producer for a nationwide TV network news show, whose biological clock is pushing her hard to have a baby. She says when she was younger she hoped to meet a man to share her life with but now she has concluded that if she wants to have someone to share her life she had better give birth to them. She decides the best thing to do is to have a child via artificial insemination and picks the seeming genetically high quality husband of a friend as the donor.



Jujind But in fact we have a platform for serious, character-driven drama in this country, and it is more popular and broad-based than Broadway ever was. You are commenting using your WordPress. I prefer the remake because it goes in more for the tragedy. Each issue of Zoetrope includes a story that has been adapted to the screen: Then, about a third of the way through, Wally Mars, an ex-boyfriend, introduces himself. This list is incomplete ; you can help by expanding it.

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