How did you come up with the title of the book?  
Dear Jeffrey Eugenides,

How did you come up with the title of the book? Did you ever refer to it by another name?

— Meg A.

Dear Meg,

It took me a long time to come up with the title. Yes, I had other titles for the book early on, poor choices which I'd rather not remember. As I made my way along with the book, however, I reached the 1970s, and arrived at my old neighborhood: Grosse Pointe, Michigan. It hit me that we had lived in Middlesex Blvd. and that the name of our old street was the perfect title for the book. Not only did the name suggest the androgynous nature of my hero, it suggested American suburban pretensions (the Anglophilia of our street, city and county names.) Finally, Middlesex alluded to another long novel about a family and a town by an author I much admire, George Eliot. Her masterpiece, of course, is Middlemarch.

— Jeffrey Eugenides


Next Story