If you could have any five people (living or dead) over for dinner, who would you invite and why?
Just as I'm serving Marcel Proust an apertif, I realize he has nothing to talk about with Jesus, who—let's face it—might have dressed up a bit. In an attempt to save the evening, I seat Rita Hayworth next to me, but she spends the whole night talking with Shakespeare.
Have you had any unusual jobs in the past? If so, what were they?
I was, briefly, a cab driver in Detroit. My shift was from six in the evening to six in the morning. I had to rent my cab from the taxi company and pay for my own gas. On a good night I would make back the money I'd spent renting the cab and buying the gas.
It's an eye-opening experience to drive a cab in Detroit in the middle of the night. I drove a lot of mothers with young children around. Why they needed to move from one house to another at 3 a.m. I never figured out. I ferried drug dealers to important meetings. I was in college during this time, a poetic youth. The only thing that saved me was that, a week before starting the job, I'd perversely shaved me head. No one had a shaved head in those days except people in the army. People asked me, "You in the military?" And I didn't say no. My bald head was my only protection. Do you have more questions for Jeffrey Eugenides? Read this Q&A between the author and readers of Middlesex.