The Virgin Suicides: A Novel
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
First published in 1993, The Virgin Suicides announced the arrival of a major new American novelist. In a quiet suburb of Detroit, the five Lisbon sisters--beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively watched by the neighborhood boys--commit suicide one by one over the course of a single year. As the boys observe them from afar, transfixed, they piece together the mystery of the family's fatal melancholy, in this hypnotic and unforgettable novel of adolescent love, disquiet, and death. Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time. Adapted into a critically acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola, The Virgin Suicides is a modern classic, a lyrical and timeless tale of sex and suicide that transforms and mythologizes suburban middle-American life.
Bonnie at music camp, trying to learn the flute after giving up the piano (her hands were too small), the violin (her chin hurt), the guitar (her fingertips bled), and the trumpet (her upper lip swelled). Mary and Lux, hearing the siren, had run home from their voice lesson across the street with Mr. Jessup. Barging into that crowded bathroom, they registered the same shock as their parents at the sight of Cecilia with her spattered forearms and pagan nudity. Outside, they hugged on a patch of
wonderful initiation by a merciful mother, and though it remained a secret, the night conveyed on Trip the mantle of a lover. When he returned we heard his new deep voice sounding a foot above our heads, apprehended without understanding the tight seat of his jeans, smelled his cologne and compared our own cheese-colored skin to his. But his musky scent, the coconut-oil smoothness of his face, the golden grains of intractable sand still glittering in his eyebrows didn’t affect us as it did the
was then Cecilia gave orally what was to be her only form of suicide note, and a useless one at that, because she was going to live: “Obviously, Doctor,” she said, “you’ve never been a thirteen-year-old girl.” The Lisbon girls were thirteen (Cecilia), and fourteen (Lux), and fifteen (Bonnie), and sixteen (Mary), and seventeen (Therese). They were short, round-buttocked in denim, with roundish cheeks that recalled that same dorsal softness. Whenever we got a glimpse, their faces looked indecently
According to the boys’ descriptions, Lux had lost weight, though we couldn’t tell through the binoculars. All sixteen mentioned her jutting ribs, the insubstantiality of her thighs, and one, who went up to the roof with Lux during a warm winter rain, told us how the basins of her collarbones collected water. A few boys mentioned the acidic taste of her saliva—the taste of digestive fluids with nothing to do—but none of these signs of malnourishment or illness or grief (the small cold sores at the
some people of Jackie Kennedy’s widow’s weeds, and it was true: the final procession out the front door, with the two paramedics like uniformed pallbearers, and the sound of postholiday firecrackers going off on the next block over, did call to mind the solemnity of a national figure being laid to rest. Neither Mr. nor Mrs. Lisbon appeared, so it was up to us to send her off, and, for the last time, we came and stood at attention. Vince Fusilli held up his lighter as though at a rock concert. It