Quelle différence y a-t-il entre une jeune paysanne grecque fuyant Smyrne incendiée par les Turcs en 1922, et une lolita américaine qui découvre, à l'âge de quinze ans, qu'elle est aussi un garçon ?
C'est en effet ce qui sépare Desdemona et Cal, la grand-mère et la petite-fille. C'est aussi la durée dans laquelle s'inscrit cette extraordinaire saga gréco-américaine.
Mi-épopée, mi-roman d'apprentissage, ce livre est un hybride. Tout comme son héros/héroïne, qui connaît la joie - et la douleur - d'appartenir aux deux sexes, avant d'opter définitivement pour celui qui lui convient. Des collines d'Asie Mineure aux villas cossues de Grosse Pointe, du fracas des canonnières dans le Bosphore aux explosions des grenades lacrymogènes dans les rues de Detroit, du ragtime au rock'n'roll, un demi-siècle d'Histoire se déroule sous nos yeux. Pour aboutir à livre transcende tous les genres : c'est une idylle, une comédie postmoderne, une histoire de la littérature, un récit érotique, une confession, une élégie.
A l'université de Brown, au début des années 1980, une fille et deux garçons découvrent avec exaltation la littérature, le sexe, Roland Barthes et les Talking Heads. Mitchell tombe sous le charme de Madeleine, qui lui préfère Leonard... Tel un personnage de Jane Austen, la jeune femme se retrouve au coeur d'un dilemme amoureux. Mais les temps ont bien changé depuis l'époque d'Orgueil et Préjugés...
Sur une île tropicale, Mitchell contracte une dysenterie amibienne et découvre le sens de l'existence. Sous les yeux de son ancien amant, Tomasina cherche désespérément un donneur de sperme. Ces dix nouvelles mettent en scène des personnages terriblement humains. On côtoie leurs petites lâchetés, leurs soucis de coeur ou d'argent, leurs maladresses. L'humour les rachète. Ils nous ressemblent.
Les ambulanciers qui viennent chercher le corps de Mary dans sa chambre connaissent déjà le chemin. Après Cecilia, Therese, Bonnie et Lux, elle est la cinquième des filles Lisbon à se donner la mort. Témoins de ces suicides durant leur adolescence, un groupe d'hommes tente, vingt ans après, d'en comprendre les raisons. Ils retracent la vie de ces jeunes filles et évoquent l'atmosphère étouffante de paisibilité des banlieues bourgeoises américaines. À travers cette enquête chargée de doutes et d'interrogations, Eugenides fait surgir un tragique sublime dans la banalité du quotidien.
AN OBSERVER BOOK OF THE YEAR AN EVENING STANDARD BOOK OF THE YEAR The first-ever collection of short stories from Jeffrey Eugenides, the bestselling author of Middlesex , The Virgin Suicides and The Marriage Plot , explores characters in the midst of personal and national emergencies. Kendall has failed as a poet, and now embezzlement seems like his next-best career option. Rebecca has failed to find customers for her mouse figurines, now the bailiffs are coming for her husband. Diane has failed to meet ''the one'', but is thrilled to have found her path to motherhood through a turkey baster. With his trademark humour, compassion and complex understanding of what it is to be human, Jeffrey Eugenides'' stories elevate muddling through into something triumphant.
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 humour and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time. ''The Virgin Suicides'' was adapted into a critically acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola.
The first collection of short fiction from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Eugenides! From the reproductive antics of Baster to a moving search for enlightenment in Air Mail, this collection presents characters in the midst of personal and national crises. Compelling, beautiful, and packed with ideas, Fresh Complaint proves Eugenides to be a master of the short form as well as the long.
The new novel from the bestselling author of Middlesex and The Virgin Suicides. Brown University, 1982. Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English student and incurable romantic, is writing her thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot - authors of the great marriage plots. As Madeleine studies the age-old motivations of the human heart, real life, in the form of two very different men, intervenes. Leonard Bankhead, brilliant scientist and charismatic loner, attracts Madeleine with an intensity that she seems powerless to resist. Meanwhile her old friend Mitchell Grammaticus, a theology student searching for some kind of truth in life, is certain of at least one thing - that he and Madeleine are destined to be together. But as all three leave college, they will have to figure out how they want their own marriage plot to end.
So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City, and the race riots of 1967, before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and an astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling, Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic.
Middlesex won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
The new novel from the bestselling author of Middlesex and The Virgin Suicides.
Brown University, 1982. Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English student and incurable romantic, is writing her thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot - authors of the great marriage plots. As Madeleine studies the age-old motivations of the human heart, real life, in the form of two very different men, intervenes.
Leonard Bankhead, brilliant scientist and charismatic loner, attracts Madeleine with an intensity that she seems powerless to resist. Meanwhile, her old friend Mitchell Grammaticus, a theology student searching for some kind of truth in life, is certain of at least one thing - that he and Madeleine are destined to be together.
But as all three leave college, they will have to figure out how they want their own marriage plot to end.
This collection brings together three novels from one of America's great modern writers.
Adapted into a critically acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola and starring Kirsten Dunst, this is the story of the five Lisbon sisters - beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively watched by the entire neighbourhood.
The boys that once loved them from afar are now grown men, determined to understand a tragedy that has always defied explanation. For still, the question remains - why did all five of the Lisbon girls take their own lives?
This hypnotic and unforgettable novel treats adolescent love and death with haunting sensitivity and dark humour, and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time.
"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of l974."
So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and her truly unique family secret, born on the slopes of Mount Olympus and passed on through three generations.
Growing up in 70s Michigan, Calliope's special inheritance will turn her into Cal, the narrator of this intersex, inter-generational epic of immigrant life in 20th century America.
Middlesex won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
A wide-ranging and eclectic collection of short stories on the theme of love in its various forms: romantic, erotic, impossible, undying and exhausted.
It's the early 1980s. In American colleges, 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 studies the age-old motivations of the human heart, real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes. Leonard Bankhead - charismatic loner and college Darwinist - suddenly turns up in a 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 spellbinding novel graduate from college and enter the real world, events force them to reevaluate everything they have learned. 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.