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Fresh Complaint: Book summary and reviews of Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides

Fresh Complaint

Stories

by Jeffrey Eugenides

Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides X
Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides
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  • Published Oct 2017
    304 pages
    Genre: Short Stories

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Book Summary

The first collection of short fiction from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Eugenides.

Jeffrey Eugenides's bestselling novels have shown him to be an astute observer of the crises of adolescence, self-discovery, family love, and what it means to be American in our times. The stories in "Fresh Complaint" explore equally rich­­ – ­­and intriguing­­ – territory. Ranging from the bitingly reproductive antics of "Baster" to the dreamy, moving account of a young traveler's search for enlightenment in "Air Mail" (selected by Annie Proulx for Best American Short Stories), this collection presents characters in the midst of personal and national emergencies. We meet a failed poet who, envious of other people's wealth during the real-estate bubble, becomes an embezzler; a clavichordist whose dreams of art founder under the obligations of marriage and fatherhood; and, in "Fresh Complaint," a high school student whose wish to escape the strictures of her immigrant family lead her to a drastic decision that upends the life of a middle-aged British physicist.

Narratively compelling, beautifully written, and packed with a density of ideas despite their fluid grace, these stories chart the development and maturation of a major American writer.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Sprightly or serious, Eugenides consistently writes about complex lives with depth and compassion." - Kirkus

"Starred Review. These stories skillfully explore the often elusive quest for happiness and self-knowledge, along with the many complexities that attend relationships with family, friends, and lovers. Essential for all fans of literary fiction." - Library Journal

"Starred Review. Pulitzer Prize–winning Eugenides' first story collection, and his first book since The Marriage Plot (2011), is gifted with the strong voices and luminous prose his novels are known for." - Booklist

"The collection is uneven, but even the weakest story is never boring, and Eugenides's prodigious abilities are showcased throughout." - Publishers Weekly

This information about Fresh Complaint was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Cathryn Conroy

Extraordinary Collection: By Turns Hilarious and Heartbreaking
This collection of 10 extraordinary short stories by the ingenious Jeffrey Eugenides is by turns hilarious and heartbreaking. From the decades-long friendship between two women to the 40-something failed poet who is so desperate for money he does something horribly wrong to the 16-year-old girl who falsely accuses a middle-aged man of rape, the stories focus on how one action—often done on the spur of the moment without much forethought—can irrevocably change lives forever.

Each of these well-crafted stories has the two ingredients for literary success: a solid plot and vividly-created characters. As each story ended—all in such a way that really made me pause and really think—I found myself closing my eyes and just savoring what I had read. And that is what makes this collection so excellent: Reading this book was more than a pastime. The stories crept into my heart and soul.

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Author Information

Jeffrey Eugenides Author Biography

Jeffrey Eugenides was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1960. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University, and received an M.A. in English and Creative Writing from Stanford University in 1986. His first novel, The Virgin Suicides, was published to acclaim in 1993. It has been translated into fifteen languages and made into a feature film. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, Best American Short Stories, The Gettysburg Review, and Granta's "Best of Young American Novelists."  In 2003, Jeffrey Eugenides received The Pulitzer Prize for his novel Middlesex (2002).

Eugenides is the recipient of many awards, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National...

... Full Biography
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Name Pronunciation
Jeffrey Eugenides: yu-GIN-e-dees

Other books by Jeffrey Eugenides at BookBrowse
  • The Marriage Plot jacket
  • My Mistress's Sparrow Is Dead jacket
  • Middlesex jacket
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more short stories...

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