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Synopsis

Spanning eight decades and chronicling the wild ride of a Greek-American family through the vicissitudes of the twentieth century, Jeffrey Eugenides’ witty, exuberant novel on one level tells a traditional story about three generations of a fantastic, absurd, lovable immigrant family -- blessed and cursed with generous doses of tragedy and high comedy.

But there’s a provocative twist. Cal, the narrator -- also Callie -- is a hermaphrodite. And the explanation for this takes us spooling back in time, through a breathtaking review of the twentieth century, to 1922, when the Turks sacked Smyrna and Callie’s grandparents fled for their lives. Back to a tiny village in Asia Minor where two lovers, and one rare genetic mutation, set our narrator’s life in motion.

Middlesex is a grand, utterly original fable of crossed bloodlines, the intricacies of gender, and the deep, untidy promptings of desire. It’s a brilliant exploration of divided people, divided families, divided cities and nations -- the connected halves that make up ourselves and our world. Justly acclaimed when it was released in Fall 2002, it announces the arrival of a major writer for our times.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Middlesex
Average rating
3.3 / 5
You should have read this already
November 1st, 2014
Bold and big. So unique and tasty, with such perspective. This book will always be one of my favourites. What a fantastic twist on the American saga.
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1 review
February 5th, 2014
A compelling, engaging, and beautifully written story. Chapters vividly describing Smyrna and Detroit are particularly powerful. The later chapters recounted by the adult Cal did not hold the power and emotional depth of the earlier ones, but a memorable work overall.
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1 review

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