Fresh Complaint | Penguin Random House Canada

Fresh Complaint


Publisher: Knopf Canada
Proudly presenting the widely anticipated new work of fiction from the multi-award winning bestselling author of Middlesex--a #1 major bestseller in Canada--and The Marriage Plot--also an acclaimed national bestseller--and the beloved The Virgin Suicides.

Featuring unseen stories from one of the most eclectic, dynamic fiction writers working today, Fresh Complaint brings together works both new and previously published--including the crème de la crème of Eugenides's beloved New Yorker stories, never before collected between two covers.
     Jeffrey Eugenides's bestselling novels 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 traveller'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.
     Showcasing stories from as far back as the 1980s and as recently as 2017, Fresh Complaint is the career-spanning collection from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author.


Longlisted for the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction 

[M]asterful. . . . There are ten stories [in Fresh Complaint], and every one brings ample evidence of the author’s expansive world view.” —Toronto Star
“Eugenides has always been a sharp and exacting writer, and nearly every one of the stories in this collection is teachable, a model of its own kind of Swiss-clock craftsmanship.” —Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies
“Jeffrey Eugenides’s short stories salvage wit from life’s grind. . . . Line by line, paragraph by paragraph, Eugenides writes like a man who is enjoying himself. The feeling is contagious. He’s a consistently perceptive writer, so much so that when you put [Fresh Complaint] down it’s like leaving one of those movies that Windex-freshens the panes of your mind. . . . [Fresh Complaint] delivers many small corkscrews of feeling. For all of its interest in failure and misbehavior, it is threaded with a strong moral sensibility. Eugenides’s miserable bipeds want to behave well but there are so many obstacles in their way. . . . [Fresh Complaint’s] charm and insight are real, and formidable.” —The New York Times Book Review
[T]he stories in Fresh Complaint show that Eugenides is one of America’s best writers, and this new book is a great bite-sized introduction to his work” —The Mancunion


“Jeffrey Eugenides is a big and big-hearted talent: generous to his readers in telling stories that unfailingly entertain, and generous to his characters, who mess up and strive and suffer and repent the way anyone we really love does—forgivably.” —Jonathan Franzen

“He is blessed with the storyteller’s most magical gift, the ability to transform the mundane into the extraordinary.” —The New York Times Book Review

“[That] rare species of writer: the literary novelist with a far-reaching fan base.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Eugenides knows that literary trends come and go; but good stories remain.” —The Daily Beast