The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Jeffrey Eugenides (born March 8, 1960,¬† is an American novelist and short story writer. He has written numerous short stories and essays, as well as three novels: The Virgin Suicides (1993), Middlesex (2002), and The Marriage Plot (2011). Middlesex received the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in addition to being a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the International Dublin Literary Award, and France’s Prix M√©dicis.

Haunting and tender, with brilliant flashes of humour, The Virgin Suicides is the story of the disintegration of an American family in 1970s suburban Michigan. Five sisters of the strict Catholic¬†Lisbon family are¬†etched in the memories of the boys who worshipped them. It is they who, twenty years later, recall moments of their adolescence. The¬†girls had a¬†gauche but breathtaking appearance on the night of¬†a homecoming dance; there is the brassi√®re belonging to the beautiful, promiscuous Lux, draped over a crucifix on the wall; there are¬†records the boys played down the phone, trying desperately to penetrate the sisters’ isolation; and there is the¬†sultry, sleepy street across which they watched fragile lives disappear. There are the suicides.¬†And there is, if you let it seep into you – the inexplicability of human life and its tragic condition.

Brought to the screen by Sofia Coppola (daughter of Francis Ford) and starring an impressive cast – including Kathleen Turner, James Woods and Danny DeVito –¬†the film was released in 1999 ( Available on DVD at

For the novel enquire at your local library or consult  for full bibliographic detail.

260 pages in Fourth Estate

First published in 1993

ISBN 978-0007524303

Jeffrey Eugenides

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