Middlesex Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Middlesex

In 1922, a grown brother and sister flee the Turks' burning of the Greek city of Smyrna and make a new life for themselves in Detroit as man and wife. They and their children make a life for themselves in the new land, working in the car factories, running a tavern, and even teaching members of the nascent Nation of Islam to make silk. The narrator of the entire story, Cal Stephaniades, is in the foreign service in Berlin near the end of the century, but his story involves 14 years as a girl because of his genetic hermaphoditism. Cal was known as Calliope, attended all-girls schools, and developed a crush on a wealthy blonde in Grosse Pointe.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Calliope Stephanide's story begins in Turkey and Greece, 60 years before her birth with the marriage of her grandparents, siblings desperately trying to avoid war. Their marriage, and a unique genetic flaw they pass through their children to their granddaughter, is the reason she is a hermaphrodite. The book tells her story, beginning with her grandparent's history in Turkey, continuing through their life in Detroit, and the raising of their children. The story continues with Callie's own childhood up through the point of her self discovery at 14.
The review of this Book prepared by Rebecca Reissman

Calliope Stephanides is a fourteen year old hermaphrodite in 1970's era Michigan who was born a girl but realizes she is actually a he. This first-person narrative is about life, sexual identity, and finding a place for all of us at the American table. Eugenides won the Pulitzer prize for this, his second novel.
The review of this Book prepared by Christopher J. Stephens

Chapter Analysis of Middlesex

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Ethnic/Regional/Religion    -   American Midwest    -   Greek Other aspects:    -   immigrant story Strong "rags to riches" component?    -   Yes Kind of sex:    -   incest Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes Taboo sex story?    -   Yes Lover is    -   of a different social class

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   diplomat Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Greek


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   2 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest City?    -   Yes City:    -   dirty, grimy (like New York)

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   touching of anatomy    -   lesbians!    -   Vagia talk!    -   Weiner talk!

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Middlesex

Jeffrey Eugenides Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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