My Iligan


Saturday, January 31, 2009

I was born twice: first, as a baby girl (Calliope), and then again, as a teenage boy (Cal), and so begin Jeffrey Eugenides's second novel, Middlesex. He won the Pulitzer Prize for the novel, and also he is the bestselling author of The Virgin Suicides.

Writing his story is yet another birth, which is now taking place...Three months before being born, his grandmother held her magical spoon over her mother's pregnant belly. The spoon swung from north to south, foretelling the birth of a son. Cal's mother, Tessie did not believe her mother-in-law's prediction and believed so strongly that a baby girl would be born that she already had the name Calliope picked out. Tessie and Milton, Cal's father, was so desirous to have a daughter that they had determined to do whatever it took to have a girl.

Topics to discuss...

  1. The author's chosen point of view. Do you believe this story could be told in another point of view? Would it be as effective?
  2. What part does the choice of setting the story in mid-west Michigan, specifically Detroit and Grosse Point play in the story?
  3. How important to the story is Cal's being a hermaphrodite? How similar would this story be had Cal not been a hermaphrodite?
  4. Why does the author choose to never introduce Chapter 11's given name?
  5. Discuss the author's purpose in including flash-forwards in Cal's present life in Berlin? How would the story change without the flash-forwards?


Equus Series' Guestbook

Read my DreamBook guestbook!
Sign my DreamBook!

Web2PDF Online