!! My new favorite hermaphrodite !!

is the star of the novel “Middlesex,” which I just finished reading. It’s the story of a mostly genetic male who was brought up as a girl in Detroit in a second-generation Greek-American family. It tells the stories of three generations of the family, managing to overshadow large amounts of creepiness with the power of love, that culminate in the existence of Calliope/Cal, the narrator. One striking thing I noticed while reading it is that a lot of the novel seems autobiographical. The author, Jeffrey Eugenides, grew up in Detroit in a Greek-American family and is a writer himself, just like the narrator. Also, his picture on the dust cover looks faggy at first glance, until you keep reading and see that he is married with kids. Weird. So then I was thinking that maybe he was born a hermaphrodite or even a woman and had an operation. But that’s probably not the case.
Anyway, it’s a tight story, except at the end I wondered what happy to crazy Cousin Sourmelina. If you know, post a comment. I either missed that part, forgot, or it was left unexplained. Eugenides portrays teenage years and old age as equally terrible and wonderful and the comparison is made very clear because we see several characters live through teenage years to become old during the course of the novel. Above all, this book renewed my faith in the power of serendipity, which I’ve been living by pretty happily for the last few weeks. I’m a big planner of things and it helps also to have a little faith that things will work out on their own even if I didn’t make the reservation.
Today I’m going to return the book to the library, now that I have $1.60 in overdue fees. I’m happy it’s only 20 cents per day since I’m mostly a subway/lunchtime reader. Thank goodness for the five hours I was on the bus to DC the other week or I could have bought the book for cheaper.

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1 Comment on "My new favorite hermaphrodite"

  1. Franky,
    I’m pretty sure that cousin Sourmelina moved down to Florida or some such and lived down there with her lover… but I’m not 100% certain. And, also, I agree about the picture…

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