Middlesex: A Novel (Oprah's Book Club)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of l974. . . My birth certificate lists my name as Calliope Helen Stephanides. My most recent driver's license...records my first name simply as Cal."
So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City, and the race riots of l967, before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling, Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic.
Middlesex is the winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
guerrilla uprising? Let me answer that question with other questions. After the riot was over, were, or were there not, caches of weapons found all over the neighborhood? And were these weapons, or were they not, AK-47s and machine guns? And why had General Throckmorton deployed his tanks on the East Side, miles from the rioting? Was that the kind of thing you did to subdue an unorganized gang of snipers? Or was it more in keeping with military strategy? Was it like establishing a front line in a
again, making her think she might die right then and there in Lefty’s arms, but of course she didn’t; they danced on. And let’s not forget where they were dancing, in Bithynios, that mountain village where cousins sometimes married third cousins and everyone was somehow related; so that as they danced, they started holding each other more tightly, stopped joking, and then just danced together, as a man and a woman, in lonely and pressing circumstances, might sometimes do. And in the middle of
legs yet. He kept falling against the railing. He stood at the chain for an appropriate amount of time, then crossed to port and returned aft. Desdemona, as arranged, was standing alone at the rail. As Lefty passed, he smiled and nodded. She nodded coldly and looked back out to sea. On the third day, Lefty took another after-dinner stroll. He walked forward, crossed to port, and headed aft. He smiled at Desdemona and nodded again. This time, Desdemona smiled back. Rejoining his fellow smokers,
Lefty said. He’d never announced it to a stranger before, and it made him feel happy and frightened all at once. “If you don’t get paid, don’t get married,” Zizmo said. “That’s why I waited so long. I was holding out for the right price.” He winked. “Lina mentioned you have your own business now,” Lefty said with sudden interest, following Zizmo into the bathroom. “What kind of business is it?” “Me? I’m an importer.” “I don’t know of what,” Sourmelina answered in the kitchen. “An importer. All I
contributed to the drastic decision she made around the same time. Not long after the Prophet’s disappearance, my grandmother underwent a fairly novel medical procedure. A surgeon made two incisions below her navel. Stretching open the tissue and muscle to expose the circuitry of the fallopian tubes, he tied each in a bow, and there were no more children. CLARINET SERENADE We had our date. I picked Julie up at her studio in Kreuzberg. I wanted to see her work, but she wouldn’t let me. And so we