“Have all the great love stories already been written? What relevance do Jane Austen or George Eliot have for today's woman? In the 1980s, Madeline is wrestling with these questions both for her college thesis and as a woman fielding the attentions of two young men. Leonard is charismatic, flawed, and tragic, so Madeline is, of course, drawn to him; Mitchell is a seeker who is trying to figure out how he fits into the general scheme of the universe, and he is totally smitten by Madeline. Eugenides has brilliantly succeeded in writing a new love story for our times!”
— Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR
A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
Named a Best Book of the Year by
"The New York Times Book Review "NPR" The New Republic Salon The Seattle Times Houston Chronicle The Miami Herald Publisher's Weekly"
"Remind s] us with uncommon understanding what it is to be young and idealistic, in pursuit of true love, and in love with books and ideas." Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times"
"A grand romance in the Austen tradition." "USA Today"
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?
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---the charismatic and intense Leonard Bankhead, and her old friend the mystically inclined Mitchell Grammaticus. As all three of them face life in the real world they will have to reevaluate everything they have learned. Jeffrey Eugenides creates a new kind of contemporary love story in "his most powerful novel yet" ("Newsweek").
"Eugenides’s ability to reinvent the timeless tale of love and soul-searching is swoon-worthy."---Vanity Fair • "I gorged myself on The Marriage Plot."---Geoff Dyer • "A masterful storyteller."---The Seattle Times • "Audacious and moving."---Time • "Extremely ambitious…surprising, and propulsive."---Chicago Sun-Times • "Deeply humane and elegantly constructed."---NPR • "The finale of The Marriage Plot is unexpected, beautiful, and---Dare we hope?---timeless."---The Cleveland Plain Dealer • "A master of voice."---The Washington Post • "Great serious romantic fun."---Chicago Tribune • "Wry, engaging, and beautifully constructed."---The New York Times Book Review • "A remarkable achievement."---The Independent (London) • "You’ll never want The Marriage Plot to end."---Elle