The Marriage Plot
Publication Date: October 11, 2011
List Price: $39.99*
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A "New York Times" Notable Book of 2011
A "Publisher's Weekly" Top 10 Book of 2011
A "Kirkus Reviews" Top 25 Best Fiction of 2011 Title
One of "Library Journal"'s Best Books of 2011
A "Salon" Best Fiction of 2011 title
One of "The""Telegraph"'s Best Fiction Books of the Year 2011
It's the early 1980s--the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafes on College Hill, 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 tries to understand why "it became laughable to read writers like Cheever and Updike, who wrote about the suburbia Madeleine and most of her friends had grown up in, in favor of reading the Marquis de Sade, who wrote about deflowering virgins in eighteenth-century France," real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes. Leonard Bankhead--charismatic loner, college Darwinist, and lost Portland boy--suddenly turns up in a semiotics seminar, and soon Madeleine finds herself in a highly charged erotic and intellectual relationship with him. At the same time, her old "friend" Mitchell Grammaticus--who's been reading Christian mysticism and generally acting strange--resurfaces, obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is destined to be his mate.
Over the next year, as the members of the triangle in this amazing, spellbinding novel graduate from college and enter the real world, events force them to reevaluate everything they learned in school. Leonard and Madeleine move to a biology Laboratory on Cape Cod, but can't escape the secret responsible for Leonard's seemingly inexhaustible energy and plunging moods. And Mitchell, traveling around the world to get Madeleine out of his mind, finds himself face-to-face with ultimate questions about the meaning of life, the existence of God, and the true nature of love.
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? With devastating wit and an abiding understanding of and affection for his characters, Jeffrey Eugenides revives the motivating energies of the Novel, while creating a story so contemporary and fresh that it reads like the intimate journal of our own lives.
David Pittu is a two-time Tony nominee, and has narrated over 36 audiobooks, including Donna Tartt's "The Goldfinch", which earned an Audie for literary fiction and best male narrator. His other work includes "The Marriage Plot" by Jeffrey Eugenides and "An American Spy "by Olen Steinhauer. Pittu has also read for Rick Riordan, Ann Rice, and Keigo Higashino, among others.
Well-known for his work in theater, Pittu has appeared off-Broadway in "LoveMusik" and "Is He Dead", for which he received his Tony nominations, as well as "Parade", for which he earned a National Broadway Award for Best Actor in a Musical. He is also a writer, member, and director of the Atlantic Theater company. He lives in New York City.