A novel in verse loosely based on a Russian classic and transported to contemporary Paris.
Eugene and Tatiana first met as teens, thrown together in the suburbs when 17-year-old Eugene accompanied his friend Lensky on visits to Lensky’s girlfriend, Olga. To Tatiana, Olga’s 14-year-old sister, Eugene is charming and the perfect crush. Eugene, however, is apathetic and bored by life, uncaring about whom he might hurt by his actions, even after a tragic accident ends Lensky’s life. Ten years later, when he encounters Tatiana, an art history scholar, Eugene has a “gray man's soul”: “He was used to his hope feeling numb, / used to hoping for nothing in particular.” Now, as an adult, Eugene sees Tatiana as the solution to his listless, colorless life, his interest in her becoming an unchecked obsession. With the potential for a successful career and a move to the United States ahead of her, Tatiana isn’t so sure a romance between herself and Eugene will last—not with his words after her teenage confession of love still ringing in her ears. Based on Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, the plot easily translates into a modern setting. Yet the complex structure—free verse originally published in French—becomes stilted, the flow frequently disrupted by asides from the omniscient narrator. Despite Paris’ diversity, all characters appear to be white.
A love story that goes nowhere. (Verse novel. 14-adult)