Jeffrey Eugenides, author of The Virgin Suicides and the 2003 Pulitzer Prize winner Middlesex, writes the kind of stories that make you want to just say, "Well, fuck it all. If you need me, I'll be over there on the couch for the next 12 hours reading this book and subsisting on graham crackers and coffee."
Eugenides' latest novel, The Marriage Plot, contains the same detailed character strata and lively plot developments that made his previous work so all-consuming. Adding to his usual talents here is his revival of an apparently outdated 19th-century novel device as the novel's spine: the marriage plot. (Don't know what that is? Just turn to page 153 of Pride and Prejudice.)
The book tells the story of Madeleine Hanna, a graduating Brown University senior, who lets herself love with luminous sentiment the clinically depressed and perversely sexy Leonard Bankhead while being loved by the brilliant, parentally-approved religious studies major Mitchell Grammaticus. Add a dash of 1980s recession-era social unraveling, post-college aimlessness and the travails of a love triangle that can intellectualize themselves beyond everything but their own hearts, and you've got a recipe for some seriously obsessive reading sessions. Jeffrey Eugenides appears on Saturday, Oct. 15, at Book Passage.
51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 4pm. Free. 415.927.0960.