A Writer Speaks: Jeffrey Eugenides

So, you're an aspiring novelist, but haven't any slightest idea how to start your novel. Check out this lovely piece of advice from Mr. Jeffrey Eugenides, author of novels like The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex.

I tell my students that when you write, you should pretend you're writing the best letter you ever wrote to the smartest friend you have. That way, you'll never dumb things down. You won't have to explain things that don't need explaining. You'll assume an intimacy and a natural shorthand, which is good because readers are smart and don't wish to be condescended to. I think about the reader. I care about the reader. Not "audience." Not "readership." Just the reader.

- Jeffrey Eugenides in an interview with The Paris Review

DISCLAIMER: No copyright infringement intended. I don't own or claim to own any of the photos used.


Book Review: The Little Prince

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, 1943

It is only with the heart that one can see clearly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
- The Fox

Much has been said about The Little Prince, so I'll keep this as short as possible.


Quotable Quotes: The Joy Luck Club

Miss Amy Tan is currently here in the Philippines for the Philippine Literary Festival. Her most famous work, 1989's The Joy Luck Club, has been one of my faves ever since I first read it back in high school. A very inspiring novel, The Joy Luck Club is synonymous with browsing through a family scrapbook whilst getting to know more about yourself in the process.

One of my fave quotes from the novel is this...

"Now you see," said the turtle, drifting back into the pond, "why it is useless to cry. Your tears do not wash away your sorrows. They feed someone else's joy. And that is why you must learn to swallow your own tears."
- An-Mei's Mother

DISCLAIMER: No copyright infringement intended. I don't own or claim to own any of the photos used.


Book Review: The Virgin Suicides

Jeffrey Eugenides, 1993

Virgin suicide
What was that she cried?
No use in stayin'
On this holocaust ride
She gave me her cherry
She's my virgin suicide

The Virgin Suicides tackles the dilemma of angst-ridden adolescence, the downsides of being a girl, teenage sexuality, the anguish of yearning, and — of course — the complexity of suicide.

Set in '70s Michigan, The Virgin Suicides revolves around the Lisbon sisters, the sheltered daughters of a devout Catholic couple. The Lisbon girls become the center of intrigue and timeless fascination in an upper middle-class Grosse Pointe suburb, their tragedy haunting their neighbors through the years.