Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
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“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.”
So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and her truly unique family secret, born on the slopes of Mount Olympus and passed on through three generations.
Growing up in 70s Michigan, Calliope’s special inheritance will turn her into Cal, the narrator of this intersex, inter-generational epic of immigrant life in 20th century America.
Middlesex won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
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Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
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Years later, in her widowhood, when she’d spend a decade in bed trying with great vitality to die, she would finally agree that those two years between wars a half century earlier had been the only decent time in her life;
exuding woe vapor
The worst had happened. This was it: the worst thing. For the first time in her life my grandmother had nothing to worry about.
The state of periphescence, however, is well known. It denotes the first fever of human pair bonding. It causes giddiness, elation, a tickling on the chest wall, the urge to climb a balcony on the rope of the beloved’s hair. Periphescence denotes the initial drugged and happy bedtime where you sniff your lover like a scented poppy for hours running. (It lasts, Luce explained, up to two years—tops.)
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