Jeffrey Eugenides Archive

What are Words For?

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“That for which we find words is something already dead in our hearts. There is always a kind of contempt in the act of speaking.” I’ve always bristled at Nietsche’s many remarks on language. Here’s another: “All words are prejudices.”

Mirrored Crisis: What Jeffrey Eugenides’s MIDDLESEX can show us about today’s refugee crisis

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We’ve been here before. The scenes we’ve seen and read about in the refugee crisis that has overwhelmed Eastern and Western Europe—Alan Kurdi cradled by the Turkish officer, people bearing their possessions on their backs held back by border police, and the drowned misery of the camps in Lesvos—have

We Have Something to Say

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Inside most classrooms lives a beast, many-eyed. If you’ve been a student in a classroom, especially in those early grades when a year lasts an eon, you’ve been part of this beast. You saw your elementary-school teachers with a collective, sharpened vision (their combovers, fluffy perms, paunches, thick, magnifying

Round-Down: Enough of Genre Debate Already

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I’m a little disappointed in Jennifer Weiner. And not in the way you’d think. Certainly not in the same way as Jonathan Franzen. Rather, I’m disappointed that she’s seemingly buying into the genre vs. literary distinction while she (admirably and very hilariously) defends herself on Twitter against Franzen’s latest attacks.

Round-Down: Literature To-Go

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Restaurant chain Chipotle just announced plans to add to their recent “Cultivating Thought” series, including such writers as Jeffrey Eugenides, Amy Tan, and Neil Gaiman. The project’s promise is simple: great, short writing by these and other talented names–offered on burrito bags and soda cups. The prodigiously talented Jonathan

What’s Done is Done is Done Again

As a creative writing instructor, I get asked two questions more than any others. The first is easy enough to answer: “How do I find time to write?” There’s no secret here—set a schedule and get to your desk. The second question, however, continues to stump me, both as a

Ploughshares Fantasy Blog Draft Round 1 – Buckle Your Corn Belts vs Vonnegut to the Chopper!

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Round 1 of the Ploughshares Fantasy Blog Draft continues! Last week The Mighty Duck Palahniuks sprinted out to a quick 33-5 lead against Leave it to Cheever only to let off the gas midway through the week and only barely eke out a 35-28 victory. Alvarez’s “role players” nearly

The Lonesome Dove Problem

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I have a problem: I’ve already read Lonesome Dove. And Lonesome Dove is the most totally absorbing wonderfully awesome novel on the planet. So nothing else really compares. Hence, my problem. I’ve tried to address this problem by waiting a lot of years and then reading Lonesome Dove again. I first read

Episodia 1.6: The Five Pillars of Place

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As a writer, reader, and a creative writing teacher, I am—for now and forever—a staunch proponent of the place-based narrative. When we think of stories, we tend to focus on those bound to particular characters or events. And yet, some of the most compelling plot lines found in literature

Fantasy Blog Draft – Round 3 – Wildcard Picks!

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[Editor’s note: If your March Madness bracket got busted, never fear! You can now redeem yourself with our Fantasy Blog Draft Bracket! Starting June 11, our completed teams will be facing off against each other, with reader votes on Facebook determining the winners. Until then, you can pick your