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Monday, Oct. 17, 2011

Eugenides Returns With 'The Marriage Plot'

Pulitzer Prize-winning author to speak at Boswell

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Jeffrey Eugenides is the gifted author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Middlesex and the book-turned-movie The Virgin Suicides. His latest narrative, The Marriage Plot, offers a romantic triangle with enough layers and artifice to keep any reader entertained.

At the center of the story is Madeleine, an English major at Brown University who is writing her senior thesis on the marriage plot—the idea of a traditional mating game as seen in the 18th-century novels of Jane Austen. But the tale is much more complicated than that, as love triangles tend to be. Set in the early 1980s, the novel centers around Madeleine and her two paramours—Leonard, a brilliant, passionate, manic-depressive who captures Madeleine's heart, and Mitchell, a typical Midwestern religious studies major who travels to India following graduation as a way to both indulge his interest in religious mysticism and try to forget Madeleine, who has chosen Leonard over him.

The Marriage Plot
moves back and forth through time, using vivid detail to recreate the 1980s, a time before cell phones, email and Internet research were ubiquitous. Eugenides possesses the rare talent of being able to inhabit his characters. He lends them authentic emotional intensity and meticulous breadth, switching between the viewpoints of Madeleine, Leonard and Mitchell as the book heads toward its complicated but inevitable resolution.

The Marriage Plot
was named one of Amazon's Best Books of the Month for October 2011. Eugenides will discuss his newest release at Boswell Book Co. on Sunday, Oct. 23, at noon.