"The theme of complaint extends beyond the title story, but for listeners the key takeaway is the word 'fresh.' Jeffrey Eugenides's fresh writing...showcases his originality and — since he also narrates it — his ability to navigate multiple accents and personalities." — AudioFile Magazine
The first collection of short fiction from Pulitzer Prize-winner Jeffrey Eugenides, author of The Virgin Suicides, Middlesex, and The Marriage Plot.
Jeffrey Eugenides’s bestselling novels have shown him to be an astute observer of the crises of adolescence, self-discovery, family love, and what it means to be American in our times.
The stories in Fresh Complaint explore equally rich––and intriguing––territory. Ranging from the bitingly reproductive antics of “Baster” to the dreamy, moving account of a young traveler’s search for enlightenment in “Air Mail” (selected by Annie Proulx for Best American Short Stories), this collection presents characters in the midst of personal and national emergencies. We meet a failed poet who, envious of other people’s wealth during the real-estate bubble, becomes an embezzler; a clavichordist whose dreams of art founder under the obligations of marriage and fatherhood; and, in “Fresh Complaint,” a high school student whose wish to escape the strictures of her immigrant family lead her to a drastic decision that upends the life of a middle-aged British physicist.
Narratively compelling, beautifully worded, and packed with a density of ideas despite their fluid grace, these stories chart the development and maturation of a major American author.
More praise for Fresh Complaint:
"It's not a surprise that Cynthia Nixon would be a good audiobook reader. It's surprising that she isn't hired to read every audiobook...Fliakos is endlessly entertaining while never letting theatrics outshine the characters on the page. This collection, Eugenides' first, includes 10 stories spanning three decades of the author's work. Hearing them read in a variety of voices emphasizes the changes in style and point of view that Eugenides has played with throughout his career." — Booklist
"Line by line, paragraph by paragraph, Eugenides writes like a man who is enjoying himself. The feeling is contagious." — Dwight Garner for The New York Times
"As I've noted before, I'd listen to Fliakos read the phone book. You don't get him or Nixon to sign on for short stories unless you have something choice in the way of material. And Eugenides certainly delivers that." — NJ.com
Cynthia Nixon—an Emmy, Tony, and Grammy Award-winning actress—is best known for her role as Miranda Hobbes in the hit HBO Sex and the City series and the films Sex and the City: The Movie and Sex and the City 2. She has read several Earphones Award-winning audiobooks. Her narrations include Emily Giffin's Heart of the Matter and Baby Proof, as well as Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth and Candace Bushnell's Lipstick Jungle.
Her other work includes her film debut in Little Darlings, an Emmy Award-winning guest role in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and her Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated role as Eleanor Roosevelt in HBO’s 2005 mini-series Warm Springs. Nixon has appeared in the Broadway productions of The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Hurlyburly, Angels in America, and The Heidi Chronicles, among many others. She is a founding member of Drama Dept., a New York theater company.
Editor's Pick - AudioFile
"It’s not a surprise that actress Cynthia Nixon would be a good audiobook reader. It’s surprising that she isn’t hired to read every audiobook. She completely owns the 2 stories she reads...[Ari] Fliakos is endlessly entertaining while never letting theatrics outshine the characters on the page." -Booklist
"The theme of complaint extends beyond the title story, but for listeners the key takeaway is the word "fresh." Jeffrey Eugenides's fresh writing merges the mundane with the meaningful. "Airmail," with a plot that fuses amoebic dysentery with spiritual enlightenment, showcases his originality and--since he also narrates it--his ability to navigate multiple accents and personalities. ...Cynthia Nixon..performances of ["The Baster"] and her other story, "Complainers," are stellar" - AudioFile
"I'd listen to Fliakos read the phone book. You don't get him or Nixon to sign on for short stories unless you have something choice in the way of material. And Eugenides certainly delivers that." - NJ.com