It’s nice to be surprised as a reader. You open the pages thinking you know how the story goes, but instead you’re ambushed by an unexpected turn, or a narrator who usually stars in a different story altogether. In back-to-back events, we bring you two contemporary American writers who break taboos and rewrite conventions as naturally as they brush their teeth.
Composer Joshua Cody says he’s not really a writer – but his raw, cerebral cancer memoir, [sic], suggests otherwise. The New York Times called it ‘the memoir of the year’ and praised the way its ‘sentences swing into you like small, gleaming axes’. This is experience alchemised into literature, folding in sex, drugs, rock n roll… and cancer.
Jeffrey Eugenides is one of the most celebrated names in contemporary American literature. From the darkly hip, deceptively slender The Virgin Suicides to the sprawling, eccentric gender adventure Middlesex, he’s known for tweaking convention. In his acclaimed latest novel, The Marriage Plot, he subverts the oldest convention in the book, delivering an end-of-the-millennium coming-of-age spiked with sly wit and Regency romance.
Jeffrey Eugenides will be in conversation with Michael Williams. Joshua Cody will be appearing with Chris Flynn.
Jeffrey Eugenides is presented in partnership with Melbourne Writers Festival.
Joshua Cody’s first book is [sic], a memoir about cancer, creativity and twentysomething life in New York City.
Jeffrey Eugenides’ first novel, The Virgin Suicides (1993) was translated into 15 languages and made into a major motion picture. In 2003, Eugenides received the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Middlesex.
Chris Flynn is books editor at The Big Issue and author of the novel A Tiger in Eden.