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Middlesex Paperback – 20 Jun 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 393 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate; 01 edition (20 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007528647
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007528646
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (393 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Middlesex is a significantly more ambitious and much odder novel than Jeffrey Eugenides' resonant debut, The Virgin Suicides (on DVD), which was a bittersweet paean to adolescent love. This is a sprawling family saga, bursting with life, which spans three generations and crosses several continents. At its core, however, is another unorthodox but exquisite coming-of-age story.

The book's wily narrator and central character, Calliope Stephanides (named after the muse of epic poetry) is a hermaphrodite raised as a girl who comes to realise she is happier as a boy and is now living as a man in contemporary Berlin. Cal's tale begins, appropriately enough, in Greece (or more precisely Asia Minor)--an Aegean Strasbourg whose sovereignty is claimed by Greece and Turkey. In 1922 brother and sister Lefty and Desdemona Stephanides escaped their war-torn homeland and arrived, as man and wife, in Detroit, America. It is this coupling that ultimately begets their grandchild Calliope and her ambiguous sexuality, as she, or rather by then he, sanguinely notes:

Some people inherit houses; others painting or highly insured violin bows. Still others get Japanese tansu or a famous name. I got a recessive gene on fifth chromosome and some very rare family jewels indeed.
As Cal recounts the experiences of the Stephanides clan in their new land--from the Depression to Nixon--he unfurls his own symbiotic odyssey to a new sex. Cal's narrative voice is arch, humorous and self aware, continually drawing attention to its authorial sleights of hand, but never exasperating. This is big, brainy novel--The Oracle of Delphi puts in an unlikely appearance in the middle of a teenage tryst--but one full of compassion. Eugenides' astonishingly rich story persistently engages the heart as well as the mind. --Travis Elborough --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

‘A masterful dissection and reassembling of the American Dream into a shape you will not quite have seen anywhere before’ Daily Telegraph

‘Superb. Warm and beautifully written. Illuminates part of the human soul’ Sunday Times

‘Truly original and compelling’ Daily Mail

‘Eugenides is a big and a big-hearted talent’ Jonathan Franzen

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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 5 February 2016
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