Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Translator: Eunju Song, Hwayeon Lee
2-volume set | 223*152mm
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About This Book
"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." And so begins Middlesex, the mesmerizing
saga of a near-mythic Greek American family and the "roller-coaster ride of a
single gene through time." The odd but utterly believable story of Cal
Stephanides, and how this 41-year-old hermaphrodite was raised as Calliope, is
at the tender heart of this long-awaited second novel from Jeffrey Eugenides,
whose elegant and haunting 1993 debut, The Virgin Suicides, remains one of the
finest first novels of recent memory.
Eugenides weaves together a kaleidoscopic narrative spanning 80 years of a stained family history, from a fateful incestuous union in a small town in early 1920s Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit; from the early days of Ford Motors to the heated 1967 race riots; from the tony suburbs of Grosse Pointe and a confusing, aching adolescent love story to modern-day Berlin. Eugenides's command of the narrative is astonishing. He balances Cal/Callie's shifting voices convincingly, spinning this strange and often unsettling story with intelligence, insight, and generous amounts of humor:
Emotions, in my experience aren't covered by single words. I don't believe in "sadness," "joy," or "regret." … I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic traincar constructions like, say, "the happiness that attends disaster." Or: "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy." ... I'd like to have a word for "the sadness inspired by failing restaurants" as well as for "the excitement of getting a room with a minibar." I've never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I've entered my story, I need them more than ever.
When you get to the end of this splendorous book, when you suddenly realize that after hundreds of pages you have only a few more left to turn over, you'll experience a quick pang of regret knowing that your time with Cal is coming to a close, and you may even resist finishing it--putting it aside for an hour or two, or maybe overnight--just so that this wondrous, magical novel might never end. --Brad Thomas Parsons
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