“Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides
(First publication: 2002 / This edition: 4th Estate Books 2013)
Taken during a work meeting at Organic Supply. Loved the cold-brewed tea I had there.
Once you’ve visited the underworld, you never forget the way back. (pg. 205)
I posted about “Middlesex” before (here). Earlier last week I had a craving to re-read again. It really is such a great book and I will probably re-read it again in a year. It will become an annual thing, most likely (like “Lolita”. Oh, Lolita.)
If you haven’t read my first post about this book… this is a story about a hermaphrodite, told from a first-person POV. But it’s more than just her/his story—it goes back to his grandparents’ and his parents’ story; about the “start” of the mutated genes.
I think what captivates me a lot is that it goes deep into Greek culture and American culture—and the blending of the two. Eugenides writes so elaborately and musically (Sing now, O Muse!) that you just can’t help but get so immersed into their family issues that you become half Greek/American yourself.
And of course, Calliope/Cal’s part is captivating—just going through the motions of being a girl and experiencing all these feelings and emotions; and how it all leads up to when she finds out that she’s different from others.
However… ironically, my most favorite part of the book is actually not about Calliope/Cal directly (the main character). I actually enjoyed reading about her Greek grandparents the most—and that takes up about 1/3 of the book. You see, there’s like four “books” in this one “umbrella” book. But anyway, the grandparents bit—it makes me emotional and soppy.
I don’t want to say too much (and I already have) because I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t read it yet, but… it’s really such an intense and exciting read. I’ve been in a reading slump the past few books—where nothing could keep my focus/interest long—but this one managed to keep me entertained and engrossed in even though it’s my second read and it’s 529 pages long.
Just in general, his writing is magical. It’s beautiful and there’s an intricate way he weaves his words—it’s hard to describe it, you just have to read it. But I love how he uses word-play and his metaphors.
It’s gritty. It’s gnarly. It’s wild.
It’s so good.
It was like autumn, looking at her. It was like driving up north to see the colors. (pg. 325)
(Above: At Organic Supply—love their table props)
(Above: Also took a photo at Rocket Coffee Bar with a salted-caramel affogato which I’ve become dangerously addicted to)