Sunday, April 10, 2011

#78 Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

In Oedipus Rex, Sophocles writes, “Hide nothing, for time, which sees all and hears all, exposes all”. In Middlesex, it is a hidden mutation in the genes of the Stephanides family that sees all, hears all, and exposes the family’s secret past. Cal Stephanides, raised in 1960s Detroit, reaches back in time to a Greek village in 1920s Turkey, the time when his grandparents, Desdemona and Lefty Stephanides, lived together after their parents were killed. Yes, their parents. Desdemona and Lefty were brother and sister. This secret shame bestows upon their grandchild life as both female and male. Like Tiresias of Oedipus Rex, Cal is first one thing, and then another.

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