Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Co-Fi)

Eugenides, Jeffrey

cal novel epic identity

(US, 1960– )

Eugenides lives in Berlin. His first novel, The Virgin Suicides (1993) is set in suburban Detroit and tells of the five Lisbon sisters, who kill themselves in their adolescence. It is blackly humorous and written in hypnotically rhythmic prose, investing the everyday with magical, mythical elements. It was successfully adapted to film. Middlesex (2002, Pulitzer 2003) is related by a hermaphrodite, Cal Stephanides, raised as a girl and assuming male identity in his teens. Cal traces his family history back to Greece and the epic story of his incestuous grandparents' flight to America, taking in events like the sacking of Smyrna along the way. The novel ranges from playfulness (Cal's grandmother and her cousin both conceive their first children on the same night in the same house) to serious social and historical analysis and a fascination with gender, the immigrant experience, and identity. Epic in its ambition and execution, this is a book to lose yourself in.

Alain-Fournier, Louis de Bernières, Angela Carter  JR

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