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The Story Behind Jeffrey Eugenides’ Sexy New Billboard

If you happened to be in the Times Square area recently, then maybe you noticed a billboard advertising Jeffrey Eugenides’ highly-anticipated new book, The Marriage Plot — or the fact that it inexplicably features an image of the author doing his best impression of the Marlboro Man. Since novelists, even Pulitzer Prize-winning ones, so rarely feature in the ads for their work, the Wall Street Journal decided to get to the bottom of it.

Eugenides’ publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux decided to rent the billboard after an account executive at their advertising agency mentioned that the space had suddenly become available. “I go back to the flinty Roger Straus days, when FSG wouldn’t run so much as an ad in the [New York Times] Book Review,” Eugenides told them. “So when they said they were putting up a billboard in Times Square, I figured I should keep my mouth shut.” It’s also worth noting that his wife art directed the photo shoot, so that might explain why he looks so… smoldering? [via Runnin' Scared]

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