Shovelmonkey1's Reviews > Middlesex

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
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Jan 30, 12

bookshelves: 1001-books, read-in-2010
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books list
Recommended for: 1001 book readers
read count: 1

Jeffrey Eugenides is another author with whom I was given a blind date via introductions from the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list. Following the blind date - a little awkward at first but I really liked his style in the end - I have had subsequent dates with The Virgin Suicides and also enjoyed that very much. I won't give you any more detail as that would be too much like a kiss-and-tell and this is Goodreads, not the News of the World.

Middlesex is a trans-continental, trans gender family epic, which leaps effortlessly from the Ottoman period to the modern day much like the goddess Io fording the Bosphorous, but of course the Stephanides family are heading in the opposite direction and crossing a much larger body of water. This is a family saga for the modern epoch; the book traces the Stephanides family as they flee Smyrna (Turkey) following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I. This period of history saw a phenomenal number of people displaced from their family homes as borders shifted and the modern European boundaries of the 20th century were laid down. The Stephanides family put down roots in America where Cal Stephanides, the intersex narrator of this Forystian saga now lives.

A unique examination of a turbulent period in European history narrated by a man who is the product of that turbulence and all it brought to bear both culturally and genetically. Thought provoking, interesting, well researched and a great template for Pulitzer material.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Jason Also, this book has to have one of the best opening lines ever:
"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."



Shovelmonkey1 Jason wrote: "Also, this book has to have one of the best opening lines ever:
"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, ..."


It's true. This is a good'un. Might read it again someday just to remind myself how good.


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