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20: Jeffrey Eugenides - Middlesex - Off in the distance
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May 2016
 

The Bellinghman
Date: 2004-03-16 22:15
Subject: 20: Jeffrey Eugenides - Middlesex
Security: Public
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Title: Middlesex
Genre: Mainstream/Family Saga
Published: Picador 2003
Pages: 596
Purchased: K Presse + Buche (Bahnhof SBB), Basel, 2004-03-05, CHF 15.50
ISBN: 0-312-99173-8

In 1922, in Greek Asia Minor, a brother and sister end up fleeing the Turkish Army's reconquest of Smyrna. They also end up marrying each other.

In 1946, their son marries his cousin in Detroit.

In 1960, they have a daughter, Calliope, who has an interesting reinforced recessive gene, and is found, at the age of 14, to be male after all - or more particularly, to be genetically male and physically hermaphrodite. This novel is about her/him, but also about the family history that led there, about her growing up, about his adulthood, about guilt and love and lust, about inner city race riots and suburbia.

I'm not surprised that Eugenides won the Pulitzer for this - it richly deserves it for its humanity and warmth. On the strength of this, I'm rather tempted to go read The Virgin Suicides as well, which was his first and (as far as I can tell) his only previous novel, back in 1993.

Interesting what you find in foreign station bookshops.
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