Emotions, in my experience, aren't covered by single words. I don't believe in "sadness," "joy," or "regret." . . . I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions, like, say, "the happiness that attends disaster." Or: "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy." I'd like to show how "intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members" connects to "the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age." I'd like to have a word for "the sadness inspired by failing restaurants" as well for "the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.

Jeffrey Eugenides

About Jeffrey Eugenides

Portrait of Jeffrey Eugenides

Jeffrey Kent Eugenides (born March 8, 1960) is an American novelist and short story writer. He has written numerous short stories and essays, as well as three novels: The Virgin Suicides (1993), Middlesex (2002), and The Marriage Plot (2011). The Virgin Suicides served as the basis of a feature film, while Middlesex received the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in addition to being a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the International Dublin Literary Award, and France's Prix Médicis.

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