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Middlesex

by Jeffrey Eugenides

“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 1974. . . 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.

Winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

“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

“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



About Jeffrey Eugenides

Jeffrey Eugenides was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1960, the third son of an American-born father whose Greek parents immigrated from Asia Minor and an American mother of Anglo-Irish descent. Eugenides was educated at public and private schools, graduated magna cum laude from Brown University, and received an MA in English and Creative Writing from Stanford University in 1986. Two years later, in 1988, he published his first short story. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, Best American Short Stories, The Gettysburg Review and Granta's ‘Best of Young American Novelists’. His first novel, The Virgin Suicides, was published in 1993, and has since been translated into fifteen languages and made into a major motion picture. His second novel, Middlesex, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2003. After a nine-year gap, Eugenides published his third novel, The Marriage Plot, in October 2011. It was a finalist of the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction in 2011; a New York Times notable book for 2011; and one of the top books of the year according to lists made by Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and The Telegraph. Eugenides is the recipient of many awards, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and The National Foundation for the Arts, a Whiting Writers' Award, and the Harold D. Vursell Award from The American Academy of Arts and Letters. In the past few years he has been a Fellow of the Berliner Künstlerprogramm of the DAAD and of the American Academy in Berlin. Jeffrey Eugenides lives in Berlin with his wife and daughter.

Other books by Jeffrey Eugenides



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