“Middlesex” is a novel written by Jeffrey Eugenides, an American author. It was published in 2002 and received widespread critical acclaim, earning Eugenides the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2003.
“Middlesex” follows the life of Cal Stephanides, a hermaphrodite protagonist born with both male and female genitalia. The novel is narrated by Cal as he recounts the history of his family, spanning three generations and exploring their Greek-American heritage.
The story begins with Cal’s grandparents, Desdemona and Lefty, who immigrate to the United States and settle in Detroit. The narrative then focuses on the life of Cal’s parents, Milton and Tessie, leading up to Cal’s birth and the discovery of his intersex condition. Cal later undergoes gender reassignment surgery to live as a man.
The novel delves into themes of identity, gender, sexuality, and cultural heritage. It explores Cal’s struggle to understand his own identity and navigate societal expectations and norms. Additionally, the book examines the complex relationships within Cal’s family, their experiences as Greek immigrants, and the impact of historical events such as the Detroit race riots and Prohibition.
Eugenides’ writing style is known for its detailed and lyrical prose, as well as its nuanced exploration of human experiences and emotions. “Middlesex” has been praised for its rich character development, engaging storytelling, and its ability to tackle sensitive subjects with compassion and empathy.
The novel garnered significant acclaim for its unique narrative voice and its exploration of intersexuality and gender identity. It remains one of Eugenides’ most notable works and has had a lasting impact on contemporary literature.