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The first collection of short fiction from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Virgin Suicides, Middlesex and The Marriage Plot Jeffrey Eugenides's bestselling vels have shown that he is an astute observer of the crises of adolescence, sexual identity, self-discovery, family love, and what it means to be an American in our times. The stories in Fresh Complaint continue that tradition. Ranging from the reproductive antics of Baster to the wry, moving account of a young traveler's search for enlightenment in Air Mail (selected by Annie Proulx for The Best American Short Stories 1997), this collection presents characters in the midst of personal and national crises. 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 collapse under the obligations of marriage and fatherhood; and, in Bronze, a sexually confused college freshman whose encounter with a stranger on a train leads to a revelation about his past and his future. Narratively compelling, beautifully written, and packed with a density of ideas that belie their fluid grace, Fresh Complaint proves Eugenides to be a master of the short form as well as the long.
Jeffrey Eugenides was born in Detroit and attended Brown and Stanford Universities. His first novel, The Virgin Suicides, was published to great acclaim in 1993, and he has received numerous awards for his work. In 2003, he received the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Middlesex, which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and France's Prix Medicis. The Marriage Plot was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and won both the Prix Fitzgerald and the Madame Figaro Literary Prize. Eugenides is a professor of creative writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton.