The Marriage Plot: A Novel
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
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).
obtaining the opportunity to kill themselves). Therefore, Leonard didn’t want to seem too upbeat. At the same time, he didn’t want to appear to be not getting better at all. As he answered the doctor’s questions, Leonard felt as though he were being interrogated for a crime. He tried, when he could, to tell the truth, but when the truth didn’t serve his cause he embellished it, or outright lied. He noted every change in Dr. Shieu’s facial expression, interpreting it as either favorable or
friendship—and especially the drunken night in Venice—and made them both feel awkward. If Mitchell had been able to return Larry’s affection, his life might have been a lot different right now. As it was, the whole thing was beginning to look fairly comical and Shakespearean: Larry loved Mitchell, who loved Madeleine, who loved Leonard Bankhead. Being alone, in the poorest city on earth, where he didn’t know anyone, pay phones were non existent, and mail service slow, didn’t end this romantic
smirk on his face. It was then that Madeleine threw the book at his head. • Beyond the bay window of Carr House, the graduation traffic was now steady. Roomy parental vehicles (Cadillacs and S-Class Mercedeses, along with the occasional Chrysler New Yorker or Pontiac Bonneville) were making their way from the downtown hotels up College Hill for the ceremony. At the wheel of each car was a father, solid-looking and determined but driving a bit tentatively owing to Providence’s many one-way
been easy. The idea that graduating was any kind of accomplishment seemed laughable to him. But he had enjoyed himself, thoroughly, and right now he was reverentially buzzed, and so he stood and applauded his classmates, trying to join in the jubilation of the day as best he could. He wasn’t thinking religious thoughts, or reciting the Jesus Prayer, when he noticed Professor Richter marching down the hill toward him. It was the faculty brigade now, professors and assistant professors in full
up of serious losers. These were guys who had clearly failed at every other job they’d had. They had failed manning gas pumps, failed selling popcorn at movie concession stands, failed helping brothers-in-law install PVC piping in low-end condominiums, failed in committing petty crime, in collecting trash, in doing yard work, failed in schools and in marriages, and now they were here, failing as cabdrivers in desperate Detroit. The only other educated driver, who had a law degree, was in his