Introduction by Jeffrey Eugenides
Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde's story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author's most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray's moral disintegration caused a scandal when it ﬁrst appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel's corrupting inﬂuence, he responded that there is, in fact, "a terrible moral in "Dorian Gray."" Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde's homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray's relationship to autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, "Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be--in other ages, perhaps.
About the Author
Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin in 1856. In the years following his graduation from Oxford in 1878 he published poems and stories which included "The Picture of Dorian Gray". "Lady Windermere's Fan" was produced in 1892, "A Woman of No Importance" in 1893 and "An Ideal Husband" and "The Importance of Being Earnest" in 1895. Later work included "De Profundis" and "The Ballad of Reading Gaol". He died in 1900.
Jeffrey Eugenides grew up in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and attended Brown and Stanford Universities. His novel "Middlesex" was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Ambassador Book Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, France's Prix Medicis, and the Lambda Literary Award. It was also selected for Oprah's Book Club. Eugenides' first novel, "The Virgin Suicides", was adapted into a critically-acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola. He is on the faculty of Princeton University, and lives in Princeton, New Jersey.