Friday, June 9, 2017

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

In a sweeping, multi-generational storyline, a modern American tells the complete story and history that led to his fantastical intersex existence.

This book won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and we chose to read it for the library's book discussion. A lot of ink was spilled by reviewers who criticized the words used and treatment of Cal's medical condition, but I think it's a fantastic read and a really good book to talk about after you've finished it. Beyond the gender conversation, there's a lot to discuss: the immigrant experience, chasing the American Dream, race relations.

And aside from that - and maybe most importantly - it's really a great story well told. I listened to the audiobook (excellently read by Kristoffer Tabori) and Callie became a friend during the 21-hour duration of the book: I wanted to know what happened to her, how she felt, how Cal emerged, and how he coped. Her experience was not in any way similar to my own, and I wanted to see the world through her eyes and experience her remarkable family.

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