The Virgin Suicides Background

The Virgin Suicides Background

The Virgin Suicides is American Writer Jeffrey Eugenides's debut novel in 1993. Eugenides was born in Detroit, Michigan and attended Brown University in his undergrad education and then obtained an M.A. in Creative Writing from Stanford.

Notoriously private, Eugenides does not appear in much in public except at book signing events around Michigan. Eugenides currently lives with his wife and daughter in New Jersey.

The first chapter of The Virgin Suicides appeared in Issue No. 117 of The Paris Review and won the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction in 1991. The novel is written in first person and details the tragedy of the Lisbon sisters.

The book was adapted into a movie and released in 1999. The movie was well received by critics and is considered a faithful adaption of the original text.

Eugenides explores the darkness of the American suburban lifestyle that is was so much idealized in the fifties and the early sixties; a time where rich families moved from cities to the suburbs to raise their children. Critics consider The Virgin Suicides to be Eugenides's criticism of desire for the quintessential suburban lifestyle. The neighbourhood depicted in the novel reflects the monoculture of suburban life, a result of the desire and demand for the fantasy bourgeois lifestyle.

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