Pulitzer Book Club Inclusion Guide
"Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides
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Jeffrey Eugenides was born in Detroit, grew up in Grosse Pointe. Eugenides’ father was of Greek descent; his mother’s ancestry was English and Irish. Eugenides spent time in Berlin; now lives with his wife and daughter in Princeton. He’s defined “hermaphroditic imagination” as the ability to inhabit both male and female perspectives.
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Featured Reader Wanted!
– Share your key take-away about inclusion in this book in a sentence or two.
– Write a paragraph or two (up to 250 words) to describe your thoughts on exclusion/inclusion in the book, why you related or did not connect with the book, and why you think reading, inclusion and dialog about inclusion matter.
– Identify the name and website address of a cause you support with an inclusive mission.
Greek American family secrets lead to gender identity quest
Young Callie notices what’s between those legs, thinks of it as a crocus, doesn’t know if crocus is “normal” or not.
Epic tale of gender identity conflict rooted in taboo intermarriage, big lies, distracted parenting, medical malpractice, and Greek culture. Accessible pop-up genetics and history lessons.
Epic tale of 544 pages or 17 CDs (21 hours). Humor and adventure temper the heavy content.
Transparency. Withholding essential facts is selfish and unfair.
So much exclusion here: outrageous gender identity advice from medical “expert,” sexploitation, taboo sex/marriage, Greek/Turk conflict, ethnic enclaves in Detroit, mean girls, homelessness. Immediate family very open and accepting.
It’s all about hotdogs. Experiment with cutting and cooking techniques.
“Can you see me? All of me? Probably not. No one ever really has.”
Go to a Greek diner, ideally one with a Zebra hide on the wall that started its life as a speakeasy.
Provide examples of how to share something appropriately with a child that is very uncomfortable to reveal.
What’s your reaction to the way pronouns were used in this novel?
Describe the worldview and behavior of the prep school bitches, faux Nation of Islam leader and the snarky Grosse Pointe realtor.
Compare the 1967 Detroit race riot and the burning Smyrna, Greece by the Turks in 1922.
Are there Greek contributions to Black culture other the two Lefty identified: use of a dream book for betting decisions and the gold medallion?
Your choice. Smyrna, Greece or a holiday in Detroit and Grosse Pointe with visits to a Nation of Islam church and modernist homes, and screenings of vampire movies. Option to add an unprofessional medical appointment and trip to the public library in NYC, and a painful journey to California to experience homelessness and sexploitation.
A “Middlesex” limited TV series is the early development stage.
1993 "The Virgin Suicides"