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Biography

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Last Updated on May 10, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 162

Jeffery Eugenides’s childhood experiences in Grosse Pointe, a wealthy suburb of Detroit, Michigan, helped shape his writing career—including two best-selling novels, considerable critical praise, and a Pulitzer prize for his second novel, Middlesex (2002)—and gave him a vivid setting for his fictional reevaluation of the American Dream. Although Eugenides has since traveled the world and taught writing at many prestigious institutions (even Princeton University), his short and long fiction is fixated on memories of home: “I have gone away for a long time, but I’ve seen in my writing no reason to leave Detroit,” he says. With the success of The Virgin Suicides (1993), his debut, and the subsequent success of Middlesex, Eugenides has become one of contemporary fiction’s most prominent novelists, known as an especially gifted composer of imaginative narrative voices, spare prose, and haunting characters. The Virgin Suicides was adapted to film in 1999 by director Sophia Coppola (Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette), who also penned the screenplay.

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