In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry blond clasmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them--along with Callie's failure to develop--leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.
The explanation for this shocking state of affairs takes us out of suburbia- back before the Detroit race riots of 1967, before the rise of the Motor City and Prohibition, 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 in motion the metamorphosis that will turn Callie into a being both mythical and perfectly real: a hermaphrodite.
Spanning eight decades--and one unusually awkward adolescence- Jeffrey Eugenides's long-awaited second novel is a grand, utterly original fable of crossed bloodlines, the intricacies of gender, and the deep, untidy promptings of desire. It marks the fulfillment of a huge talent, named one of America's best young novelists by both Granta and The New Yorker.
About the Author
Jeffrey Eugenides was born in Detroit and attended Brown and Stanford Universities. His first novel, The Virgin Suicides, was published by Farrar Straus & Giroux to great acclaim in 1993, and he has received numerous awards for his work. In 2003, Jeffrey Eugenides received The Pulitzer Prize for his novel Middlesex (Picador, 2003). Middlesex, which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, France's Prix Medicis, has sold over 1 million copies.
Praise for Middlesex…
"Part Tristram Shandy, part Ishmael, part Holden Caulfield, Cal is a wonderfully engaging narrator. . . A deeply affecting portrait of one family's tumultuous engagement with the American twentieth century." --The New York Times
"Expansive and radiantly generous. . . Deliriously American." --The New York Times Book Review (cover review)
"A towering achievement. . . . [Eugenides] has emerged as the great American writer that many of us suspected him of being." --Los Angeles Times Book Review (cover review)
"A big, cheeky, splendid novel. . . it goes places few narrators would dare to tread. . . lyrical and fine." --The Boston Globe
"An epic. . . This feast of a novel is thrilling in the scope of its imagination and surprising in its tenderness." --People
"Unprecedented, astounding. . . . The most reliably American story there is: A son of immigrants finally finds love after growing up feeling like a freak." --San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
"Middlesex is about a hermaphrodite in the way that Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel is about a teenage boy. . . A novel of chance, family, sex, surgery, and America, it contains multitudes." --Men's Journal
"Wildly imaginative. . . frequently hilarious and touching." --USA Today