Middlesex

By Jeffrey Eugenides
(Picador USA, Paperback, 9780312427733, 529pp.)

Publication Date: June 5, 2007

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Description

""I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of l974. . . My birth certificate lists my name as Calliope Helen Stephanides. My most recent driver's license...records my first name simply as Cal.""

So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City, and the race riots of l967, before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling, "Middlesex "is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic.

"Middlesex "is the winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.




About the Author
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.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. Describing his own conception, Cal writes: “The timing of the thing had to be just so in order for me to become the person I am. Delay the act by an hour and you change the gene selection.” (p. 11) Is Cal’s condition a result of chance or fate? Which of these forces governs the world as Cal sees it?

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