Madeleine Hanna was the dutiful English major who didn't get the memo. While everyone else in the early 1980s was reading Derrida, she was happily absorbed with Jane Austen and George Eliot. Madeleine was the girl who dressed a little too nicely for the taste of her more Bohemian friends, the perfect girlfriend whose college love life, despite her good looks, hadn't lived up to expectations. But now, in the spring of her final year, Madeleine has enrolled in a semiotics course 'to see what all the fuss is about'. And, for reasons that have nothing to do with her studies, life and literature will never be the same. Not after she falls in love with Leonard Morten - charismatic loner and college Darwinist - who is possessed of seemingly inexhaustible energy and introduces her to the ecstasies of immediate experience. And certainly not after Mitchell Grammaticus - devotee of Patti Smith and Thomas Merton - resurfaces in her life, obsessed with the idea that she will be his wife. The triangle at the heart of this novel is at once age-old and completely fresh and surprising. With brilliant wit, irony and an incredible understanding of and love for his characters, Jeffrey Eugenides captures the original energies of the novel while creating a story so contemporary that it reads like an intimate journal of our own lives.