The Virgin Suicides is the 1993 debut novel by American writer Jeffrey Eugenides. The story, which is set in Grosse Pointe, Michigan during the 1970s, centers on the suicides of five sisters. The Lisbon girls' suicides fascinate their community as their neighbors struggle to find an explanation for the acts. The book's first chapter appeared in Issue No. 117 of The Paris Review (Winter 1990), where it won the 1991 Aga Khan Prize for Fiction.
The novel is atypical in that it was written in first person plural from the perspective of an anonymous group of teenage boys who became infatuated with the girls, a style mirroring a Greek chorus. The narrator(s) rely on relics and interviews gathered in the two decades after the suicide to construct the tale. The novel is rich in descriptive detail, using observations about the state of the Lisbon house and the contents of the girls’ rooms to advance the plot. The effect is that the reader glimpses the novel’s main characters as if she or he were one of the neighborhood onlookers.
The novel was adapted into a 1999 film by director Sofia Coppola.