NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR AND THE TIMES (UK)
This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.
Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.
Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . .
And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.
Praise for Eligible
“Even the most ardent Austenite will soon find herself seduced.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Blissful . . . Sittenfeld modernizes the classic in such a stylish, witty way you’d guess even Jane Austen would be pleased.”—People (book of the week)
“[A] sparkling, fresh contemporary retelling.”—Entertainment Weekly
“[Sittenfeld] is the ideal modern-day reinterpreter. Her special skill lies not just in her clear, clean writing, but in her general amusement about the world, her arch, pithy, dropped-mike observations about behavior, character and motivation. She can spot hypocrisy, cant, self-contradiction and absurdity ten miles away. She’s the one you want to leave the party with, so she can explain what really happened. . . . Not since Clueless, which transported Emma to Beverly Hills, has Austen been so delightedly interpreted. . . . Sittenfeld writes so well—her sentences are so good and her story so satisfying. . . . As a reader, let me just say: Three cheers for Curtis Sittenfeld and her astute, sharp and ebullient anthropological interest in the human condition.”—Sarah Lyall, The New York Times Book Review
“A clever, uproarious evolution of Austen’s story.”—The Denver Post
“If there exists a more perfect pairing than Curtis Sittenfeld and Jane Austen, we dare you to find it. . . . Sittenfeld makes an already irresistible story even more beguiling and charming.”—Elle
“A playful, wickedly smart retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.”—BuzzFeed
“Sittenfeld is an obvious choice to re-create Jane Austen’s comedy of manners. [She] is a master at dissecting social norms to reveal the truths of human nature underneath.”—The Millions
“A hugely entertaining and surprisingly unpredictable book, bursting with wit and charm.”—The Irish Times
“An unputdownable retelling of the beloved classic.”—PopSugar
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Date of Birth:August 23, 1975
Place of Birth:Cincinnati, Ohio
Education:B.A., Stanford University, 1997; M.F.A., University of Iowa (Iowa Writers¿ Workshop), 2001
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Excerpted from "Eligible"
Copyright © 2017 Curtis Sittenfeld.
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Reading Group Guide
1. 1. Eligible is a modern adaptation of the classic novel Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. Why is this story such a timeless favorite?
2. Which of the sisters do you most identify with, and why? Did that change at all over the course of the novel?
3. Were you surprised by Darcy and Liz having “hate sex”? Did it make the novel more or less enjoyable for you?
4. What prejudices does Curtis Sittenfeld explore in this adaptation? How do they differ from the prejudices of Austen’s time?
5. To what extent do you think the portrayal of modern courtship and mar- riage in this novel is realistic? Do you think Mrs. Bennet’s concern over her daughters’ remaining unmarried into their late thirties is common, or is this an outdated perspective?
6. The title Eligible comes from the fictional reality television show Chip Bingley appears on. What do you think the novel has to say about reality TV? Would you go on a show like Eligible?
7. On p. 305, Kathy de Bourgh tells Liz, “There’s a belief that to take care of someone else, or to let someone else take care of you—that both are inher- ently unfeminist. I don’t agree. There’s no shame in devoting yourself to another person, as long as he devotes himself to you in return.” Do you agree or disagree with this sentiment?
8. If you’ve read Pride and Prejudice, do you think it is a feminist novel? Is
9. The novel closes with Mary’s perspective. Why do you think Curtis Sit- tenfeld chose to conclude the novel with her? How does the choice change your perspective on preceding events?
10. What would Jane Austen think of Eligible?