As a child, Calliope Stephanides never felt like other girls her age. On the road to self-discovery, family secrets are exposed and an astonishing genetic history is uncovered.
About the Book
Middlesex is a story about what it means to occupy the unnamed middle ground between male and female, Greek and American, past and present. Learn more!
Read an Excerpt
Start at the very beginning of the epic journey of Calliope's Greek-American family. Read part of the first chapter.
In Middlesex, Cal is on a quest for the truth. Embark on your own journey for answers with your book club! Get the conversation rolling with discussion questions from each section of the book.
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Get your summer reading calendar and thought-provoking questions to ponder during your literary journey on this exclusive Oprah's Book Club bookmark.
Take the Quiz
How much do you remember about Middlesex? Test your knowledge of the book with this quiz!
Meet the Author
He began with best-seller The Virgin Suicides and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Middlesex. Read Jeffrey Eugenides's bio.
Jeffrey Eugenides answers your questions about his quirky character names, Greek myths and more in Middlesex. Read them all, plus get the inside scoop on his next book.
The Oprah Interview
How much of Middlesex is autobiographical? How long did it take Jeffrey Eugenides to write the book? Where was he when he found out he won the Pulitzer Prize? Oprah sits down with the man behind Middlesex! Then, watch exclusive Q&A video with the author.
Jeffrey Eugenides: After the Show
The conversation kept going after the show was over! Jeffrey Eugenides answers questions from an audience full of Middlesex readers. Watch him talk more about The Obscure Object, reading the book as a man or a woman, and more.
A dazzling triumph from the best-selling author of The Virgin Suicides, Middlesex is the astonishing tale of a gene that passes down through three generations of a Greek-American family and flowers in the body of Calliope Stephanides.
"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." So begins Jeffrey Eugenides 's second novel, Middlesex, the story of Calliope Stephanides, who discovers at the age of 14 that she is really a he. Cal traces the story of his transformation and the genetic condition that caused it back to his paternal grandparents, who happen also to be brother and sister, and the Greek village of Bithynios in Asia Minor.
In 1922, Desdemona Stephanides and her brother, Lefty, whose parents were killed in the recent war with the Turks, are living alone in their nearly abandoned village. Pulled together by isolation, sympathy, and, perhaps, fate, Lefty and Desdemona become husband and wife, and a recessive genetic condition begins its journey toward eventual expression in their grandchild Calliope.
Middlesex is a story about what it means to occupy the complex and unnamed middle ground between male and female, Greek and American, past and present. For Cal, caught between these identities, the journey to adulthood is particularly fraught. Jeffrey Eugenides's epic portrayal of Cal's struggle is classical in its structure and scope and contemporary in its content—a tender and honest examination of a battle that is increasingly relevant to us all.
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Printed from Oprah.com on Friday, March 7, 2014
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