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The Marriage Plot

The Marriage Plot
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Publisher: Knopf Canada
ISBN: 030740188X
Pages: 432
Year: 2011-10-11
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The long-awaited new novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Eugenides. "There is no happiness in love, except at the end of an English novel." —Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers Madeleine Hanna was the dutiful English major who didn't get the memo. While everyone else in the early 1980s was reading Derrida, she was happily absorbed with Jane Austen and George Eliot: purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. Madeleine was the girl who dressed a little too nicely for the taste of her more bohemian friends, the perfect girlfriend whose college love life, despite her good looks, hadn't lived up to expectations. But now, in the spring of her senior year, Madeleine has enrolled in a semiotics course "to see what all the fuss is about," and, for reasons that have nothing to do with school, life and literature will never be the same. Not after she falls in love with Leonard Morten - charismatic loner, college Darwinist and lost Oregon boy - who is possessed of seemingly inexhaustible energy and introduces her to the ecstasies of immediate experience. And certainly not after Mitchell Grammaticus - devotee of Patti Smith and Thomas Merton - resurfaces in her life, obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is destined to be his mate. The triangle in this amazing and delicious novel about a generation beginning to grow up is age old, and completely fresh and surprising. With devastating wit, irony and an abiding understanding and love for his characters, Jeffrey Eugenides resuscitates the original energies of the novel while creating a story so contemporary that it reads like the intimate journal of our own lives.

The Marriage Plot

The Marriage Plot
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1429969180
Pages: 416
Year: 2011-10-11
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A New York Times Notable Book of 2011 A Publisher's Weekly Top 10 Book of 2011 A Kirkus Reviews Top 25 Best Fiction of 2011 Title One of Library Journal's Best Books of 2011 A Salon Best Fiction of 2011 title One of The Telegraph's Best Fiction Books of the Year 2011 It's the early 1980s—the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafés on College Hill, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. As Madeleine tries to understand why "it became laughable to read writers like Cheever and Updike, who wrote about the suburbia Madeleine and most of her friends had grown up in, in favor of reading the Marquis de Sade, who wrote about deflowering virgins in eighteenth-century France," real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes. Leonard Bankhead—charismatic loner, college Darwinist, and lost Portland boy—suddenly turns up in a semiotics seminar, and soon Madeleine finds herself in a highly charged erotic and intellectual relationship with him. At the same time, her old "friend" Mitchell Grammaticus—who's been reading Christian mysticism and generally acting strange—resurfaces, obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is destined to be his mate. Over the next year, as the members of the triangle in this amazing, spellbinding novel graduate from college and enter the real world, events force them to reevaluate everything they learned in school. Leonard and Madeleine move to a biology Laboratory on Cape Cod, but can't escape the secret responsible for Leonard's seemingly inexhaustible energy and plunging moods. And Mitchell, traveling around the world to get Madeleine out of his mind, finds himself face-to-face with ultimate questions about the meaning of life, the existence of God, and the true nature of love. Are the great love stories of the nineteenth century dead? Or can there be a new story, written for today and alive to the realities of feminism, sexual freedom, prenups, and divorce? With devastating wit and an abiding understanding of and affection for his characters, Jeffrey Eugenides revives the motivating energies of the Novel, while creating a story so contemporary and fresh that it reads like the intimate journal of our own lives.

The Marriage Plot

The Marriage Plot
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
ISBN: 0007441274
Pages: 416
Year: 2011-10-03
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The new novel from the bestselling author of Middlesex and The Virgin Suicides.

The Marriage Plot

The Marriage Plot
Author: Naomi Seidman
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804799628
Pages: 368
Year: 2016-06-22
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For nineteenth-century Eastern European Jews, modernization entailed the abandonment of arranged marriage in favor of the "love match." Romantic novels taught Jewish readers the rules of romance and the choreography of courtship. But because these new conceptions of romance were rooted in the Christian and chivalric traditions, the Jewish embrace of "the love religion" was always partial. In The Marriage Plot, Naomi Seidman considers the evolution of Jewish love and marriage though the literature that provided Jews with a sentimental education, highlighting a persistent ambivalence in the Jewish adoption of European romantic ideologies. Nineteenth-century Hebrew and Yiddish literature tempered romantic love with the claims of family and community, and treated the rules of gender complementarity as comedic fodder. Twentieth-century Jewish writers turned back to tradition, finding pleasures in matchmaking, intergenerational ties, and sexual segregation. In the modern Jewish voices of Sigmund Freud, Erica Jong, Philip Roth, and Tony Kushner, the Jewish heretical challenge to the European romantic sublime has become the central sexual ideology of our time.

The Virgin Suicides

The Virgin Suicides
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Publisher: Vintage Canada
ISBN: 0307401936
Pages: 256
Year: 2011-09-20
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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.

Middlesex

Middlesex
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Publisher: Vintage Canada
ISBN: 0307401944
Pages: 544
Year: 2011-07-18
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Spanning eight decades and chronicling the wild ride of a Greek-American family through the vicissitudes of the twentieth century, Jeffrey Eugenides’ witty, exuberant novel on one level tells a traditional story about three generations of a fantastic, absurd, lovable immigrant family -- blessed and cursed with generous doses of tragedy and high comedy. But there’s a provocative twist. Cal, the narrator -- also Callie -- is a hermaphrodite. And the explanation for this takes us spooling back in time, through a breathtaking review of the twentieth century, to 1922, when the Turks sacked Smyrna and Callie’s grandparents fled for their lives. Back to a tiny village in Asia Minor where two lovers, and one rare genetic mutation, set our narrator’s life in motion. Middlesex is a grand, utterly original fable of crossed bloodlines, the intricacies of gender, and the deep, untidy promptings of desire. It’s a brilliant exploration of divided people, divided families, divided cities and nations -- the connected halves that make up ourselves and our world. Justly acclaimed when it was released in Fall 2002, it announces the arrival of a major writer for our times. From the Hardcover edition.

The Marriage of Minds

The Marriage of Minds
Author: Rachel Ablow
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804754667
Pages: 231
Year: 2007
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The Marriage of Minds examines the implications of the common Victorian claim that novel reading can achieve the psychic, ethical, and affective benefits also commonly associated with sympathy in married life. Through close readings of canonical texts in relation to the histories of sympathy, marriage, and reading, The Marriage of Minds begins to fill a long-standing gap between eighteenth-century philosophical notions of sympathy and twentieth-century psychoanalytic concepts of identification. It examines the wide variety of ways in which novels were understood to educate or reform readers in the mid-nineteenth century. Finally, it demonstrates how both the form of the Victorian novel and the experience supposed to result from that form were implicated in ongoing debates about the nature, purpose, and law of marriage.

Fresh Complaint

Fresh Complaint
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Publisher: Knopf Canada
ISBN: 030740191X
Pages: 352
Year: 2017-10-03
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Proudly presenting the widely anticipated new work of fiction from the multi-award winning bestselling author of Middlesex--a #1 major bestseller in Canada--and The Marriage Plot--also an acclaimed national bestseller--and the beloved The Virgin Suicides. Featuring unseen stories from one of the most eclectic, dynamic fiction writers working today, Fresh Complaint brings together works both new and previously published--including the crème de la crème of Eugenides's beloved New Yorker stories, never before collected between two covers. Jeffrey Eugenides's bestselling novels have shown that he is an astute observer of the crises of adolescence, sexual identity, self-discovery, family love and what it means to be an American in our times. The stories in Fresh Complaint continue that tradition. Ranging from the reproductive antics of "Baster" to the wry, moving account of a young traveller's search for enlightenment in "Air Mail" (selected by Annie Proulx for The Best American Short Stories 1997), this collection presents characters in the midst of personal and national crises. We meet a failed poet who, envious of other people's wealth during the real-estate bubble, becomes an embezzler; a clavichordist whose dreams of art collapse under the obligations of marriage and fatherhood; and, in "Bronze," a sexually confused college freshman whose encounter with a stranger on a train leads to a revelation about his past and his future. Narratively compelling, beautifully written and packed with a density of ideas that belie their fluid grace, Fresh Complaint proves Eugenides to be a master of the short form as well as the long. Showcasing stories from as far back as the 1980s and as recently as 2017, Fresh Complaint is the career-spanning collection from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

The Food Plot in the Nineteenth-Century British Novel

The Food Plot in the Nineteenth-Century British Novel
Author: Michael Parrish Lee
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137499389
Pages: 246
Year: 2016-12-21
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This book is about food, eating, and appetite in the nineteenth-century British novel. While much novel criticism has focused on the marriage plot, this book revises the history and theory of the novel, uncovering the “food plot” against which the marriage plot and modern subjectivity take shape. With the emergence of Malthusian population theory and its unsettling links between sexuality and the food supply, the British novel became animated by the tension between the marriage plot and the food plot. Charting the shifting relationship between these plots, from Jane Austen’s polite meals to Bram Stoker’s bloodthirsty vampires, this book sheds new light on some of the best-know works of nineteenth-century literature and pushes forward understandings of narrative, literary character, biopolitics, and the novel as a form. From Austen to Zombies, Michael Parrish Lee explores how the food plot conflicts with the marriage plot in nineteenth-century literature and beyond, and how appetite keeps rising up against taste and intellect. Lee’s book will be of interest to Victorianists, genre theorists, Food Studies, and theorists of bare life and biopolitics. - Regenia Gagnier, Professor of English, University of Exeter In The Food Plot Michael Lee engages recent and classic scholarship and brings fresh and provocative readings to well worked literary critical ground. Drawing upon narrative theory, character study, theories of sexuality, and political economy, Professor Lee develops a refreshing and satisfyingly deep new reading of canonical novels as he develops the concept of the food plot. The Food Plot should be of interest to specialists in the novel and food studies, as well as students and general readers. - Professor April Bullock, California State University, Fullerton, USA

Dickens and the Rise of Divorce

Dickens and the Rise of Divorce
Author: Kelly Hager
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317151178
Pages: 216
Year: 2016-04-08
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Questioning a literary history that, since Ian Watt's Rise of the Novel, has privileged the courtship plot, Kelly Hager proposes an equally powerful but overlooked narrative focusing on the failed marriage. Hager maps the legal history of marriage and divorce, providing crucial background as she reveals the prevalence of the failed-marriage plot in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British novels. Dickens's novels emerge as representative case studies in their preoccupations with the disintegration of marriage, the far-reaching and disastrous effects of the doctrine of coverture, and the comic, spectacular, and monstrous possibilities afforded by the failed-marriage plot. Setting his narratives alongside the writings of liberal reformers like John Stuart Mill and the seemingly conservative agendas of Caroline Norton, Eliza Lynn Linton, and Sarah Stickney Ellis, Hager also offers a more contextualized account of the competing strands of the Woman Question. In the course of her revisionist readings of Dickens's novels, Hager uncovers a Dickens who is neither the conservative agent of the patriarchy nor a novelistic Jeremy Bentham, and reveals that tipping the marriage plot on its head forces us to adjust our understanding of the complexities of Victorian proto-feminism.

How to Read a Novelist

How to Read a Novelist
Author: John Freeman
Publisher: FSG Originals
ISBN: 0374710570
Pages: 384
Year: 2013-10-08
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The novel is alive and well, thank you very much For the last fifteen years, whenever a novel was published, John Freeman was there to greet it. As a critic for more than two hundred newspapers worldwide, the onetime president of the National Book Critics Circle, and the former editor of Granta, he has reviewed thousands of books and interviewed scores of writers. In How to Read a Novelist, which pulls together his very best profiles (many of them new or completely rewritten for this volume) of the very best novelists of our time, he shares with us what he's learned. From such international stars as Doris Lessing, Haruki Murakami, Salman Rushdie, and Mo Yan, to established American lions such as Don DeLillo, Norman Mailer, Toni Morrison, Marilynne Robinson, Philip Roth, John Updike, and David Foster Wallace, to the new guard of Edwidge Danticat, Dave Eggers, Jonathan Franzen, and more, Freeman has talked to everyone. What emerges is an instructive and illuminating, definitive yet still idiosyncratic guide to a diverse and lively literary culture: a vision of the novel as a varied yet vital contemporary form, a portrait of the novelist as a unique and profound figure in our fragmenting global culture, and a book that will be essential reading for every aspiring writer and engaged reader—a perfect companion (or gift!) for anyone who's ever curled up with a novel and wanted to know a bit more about the person who made it possible.

An American Marriage

An American Marriage
Author: Tayari Jones
Publisher: Algonquin Books
ISBN: 1616207604
Pages: 336
Year: 2018-02-06
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THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION “One of my favorite parts of summer is deciding what to read when things slow down just a bit, whether it’s on a vacation with family or just a quiet afternoon . . . An American Marriage by Tayari Jones is a moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.” —Barack Obama “Haunting . . . Beautifully written.” —The New York Times Book Review “Brilliant and heartbreaking . . . Unforgettable.” —USA Today “A tense and timely love story . . . Packed with brave questions about race and class.” —People “Compelling.” —The Washington Post “Epic . . . Transcendent . . . Triumphant.” —Elle Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together. This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward—with hope and pain—into the future.

The Digested Read

The Digested Read
Author: John Crace
Publisher: RDR Books
ISBN: 1571431594
Pages: 288
Year: 2006
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Literary ombudsman John Crace never met an important book he didnt like to deconstruct.From Salman Rushdie to John Grisham, Crace retells the big books in just 500 bitingly satirical words, pointing his pen at the clunky plots, stylistic tics and pretensions to Big Ideas, as he turns publishers golden dream books into dross. In the grand tradition of Tom Lehrer and Stan Freberg, Crace takes the books that produce the most media hype and retells each story in its authors inimitable style. Philip Roth, Don Delillo, Margaret Drabble, Paul Auster, Alice Sebold, John Updike, Tom Wolfe, Ruth Rendell, A.S. Byatt, John LeCarre, Michael Crichton and Ian McEwan all emerge delightfully scathed in this book that makes it easy to talk knowingly about books youve never bothered to read or, for that matter, should have.

The Story of a Marriage

The Story of a Marriage
Author: Andrew Sean Greer
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1429945176
Pages: 208
Year: 2008-04-29
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A Today Show Summer Reads Pick A Washington Post Book of the Year "We think we know the ones we love." So Pearlie Cook begins her indirect, and devastating exploration of the mystery at the heart of every relationship--how we can ever truly know another person. It is 1953 and Pearlie, a dutiful young housewife, finds herself living in the Sunset District in San Francisco, caring not only for her husband's fragile health, but also for her son, who is afflicted with polio. Then, one Saturday morning, a stranger appears on her doorstep, and everything changes. Lyrical, and surprising, The Story of a Marriage is, in the words of Khaled Housseini, "a book about love, and it is a marvel to watch Greer probe the mysteries of love to such devastating effect."

The Twenty-Seventh City

The Twenty-Seventh City
Author: Jonathan Franzen
Publisher: Picador
ISBN: 1250047579
Pages: 528
Year: 2013-11-05
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25th Anniversary Edition Picador Modern Classics Published in 1988, Jonathan Franzen's The Twenty-Seventh City is the debut novel of a writer who would come to define our times. St. Louis, Missouri, is a quietly dying river city until it hires a new police chief: a charismatic young woman from Bombay, India, named S. Jammu. No sooner has Jammu been installed, though, than the city's leading citizens become embroiled in an all-pervasive political conspiracy. Set in mid-1980s, The Twenty-Seventh City predicts every unsettling shift in American life for the next two decades: suburban malaise, surveillance culture, domestic terrorism, paranoia. A classic of contemporary fiction, The Twenty-Seventh City shows us an ordinary metropolis turned inside out, and the American Dream unraveling into terror and dark comedy.

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