Saturday, March 29, 2008

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

First sentence:

"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974."


"Middlesex tells 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 1967, 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." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

This beautifully written book is more than a story of a hermaphrodite. It is a rich family history interwoven with the history of Greek immigrants, as well as a history of life in the Detroit area from the early auto industry through the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. I liked all the characters from the grandparents Desdemona and Lefty through the narrator, Cal/Callie.

Date read: 3/15/2008
Book #: 17
Challenges: Book Awards Challenge
Rating: 4*/5 = great
Genre: Fiction

ISBN-10: 0312422156
ISBN-13: 9780312422158
Publisher: Picador
Year: 2002
# of Pages: 529
Binding: Trade Paperback
LibraryThing Page

1 comment:

Literary Feline said...

This is one of my favorite books. I am glad you liked it. I especially liked the historical aspects of Detroit during Cal's childhood and how the author wove those into the story.