The Virgin Suicides (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Told from the perspective of a chorus of neighborhood boys, this novel chronicles the suicides of five elusive sisters. Recalls John Updike: all of the suburbia, none of the solipsism. When you finish, check out the Sofia Coppola film adaptation for an impressive Kirsten Dunst performance and a great soundtrack by Air.

— Katherine


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.

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.

Praise For…

"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

Product Details
ISBN: 9780312428815
ISBN-10: 0312428812
Publisher: Picador USA
Publication Date: April 28th, 2009
Pages: 243
Language: English