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10-03_eugenides_1On March 3, students in Classes II and I filled King Theatre to hear Mr. Jeffrey Eugenides read some of his unpublished fiction as this year’s Bingham Visiting Reader.

Mr. Eugenides’s first novel, The Virgin Suicides, was published to wide acclaim in 1993. It has been translated into 34 languages and made into a feature film. In 2003, he received the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Middlesex, which remains one of the best selling contemporary novels of all time and won him a coveted spot in Oprah’s Book Club. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Best American Short Stories, and Granta’s “Best of Young American Novelists.” 

Lisa Baker, of the English department, introduced Mr. Eugenides, saying of his novelMiddlesex, “[the book] is thrilling in its epic scope and flavor, with intertwining plots that migrate across decades, continents, family generations, and ultimately genders…” while his first novel, The Virgin Suicides, “intimately inhabits the longings and anxieties of the teenaged mind; its sentences are intricately wrought, the plot relentlessly singular, and the effect of the novel is both irresistible and elicit… Mr. Eugenides’s narrative diversity seems bold, even counter-cultural—an unintentional challenge to the literary world to risk more, to resist the pacifying effect of consistency… His fiction makes us laugh as hard as it asks us to deeply consider the world around us.”

Mr. Eugenides met with students in Straus Library after his reading to continue the discussion, answering questions about fiction, his work, and the process of writing. He teaches in the creative writing program at Princeton University.