Our book for July is Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. This 2002 novel won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, in addition to being a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the International Dublin Literary Award, and France's Prix Médicis.
Following the life and self-discovery of Calliope Stephanides, or later, Cal, an intersex person raised a girl, but hormonally a boy, Middlesex also broadly deals with the Greek-American immigrant experience in the United States, the rise and fall of Detroit, and explores the experience of an intersex person in the USA.
The novel chronicles the impact of a mutated gene on three generations of a Greek family, causing momentous changes in the protagonist's life. The novel's main themes are nature versus nurture, rebirth, and the differing experiences of polar opposites—such as those found between men and women. It discusses the pursuit of the American Dream and explores gender identity. The novel contains many allusions to Greek mythology, including creatures such as the Minotaur, half-man and half-bull, and the Chimera, a monster composed of various animal parts.
If more than 12 people show up to the Meetup, we will break into two groups, with a volunteer moderating the second group.