It's the early 1980s--America is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafés on the cobble-streets of College Hill, the wised up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. As she prepares to graduate and tries to understand why her college love life has not lived up to expectations, she finds herself unexpectedly in a love triangle with two very different guys. Over the next year, as the members of the triangle in this funny, wise and heartbreaking novel enter the real world, events force them to reevaluate everything they learned in school. With wit and an abiding understanding of and affection for his characters and the drama of life, Jeffrey Eugenides revives the motivating energies of the Novel, while creating a story so contemporary and fresh that it reads like the intimate journal of our own lives.