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Title: Middlesex

Writer: Jeffrey Eugenides

Publisher: Serambi (2007)

Pages: 811 p

Gift from Serambi

This is an epic story about a Greek family, and how a decision in the past could follow the life of the next generation. Calliope Stephanides was born in 1960 as a girl, and raised as a sweet little girl by her loving mother and very busy father. Calliope is not an ordinary girl though, because when she grew up, she found something unusual in her body (her female part, to be exact). Lacking of certain chromosome due to a family history, Calliope was finally reborn as a man named Cal when she (or he?) turned 14.

Cal brought us back to 1922, tracing his (okay, I’m gonna use HE for Cal from now on) grandparents life from Turkey until they became immigrants in the U.S. We could see  how they coped with the strong Greek roots, struggled in new country during the Depression era, and created the new generation with fear of their old sin.

Cal lead us into his story with beautiful sentences, until we could enter his mind and heart, feel his ache and sorrow, his fear and confusion as an outcast. This is a very long book, but strangely, I didn’t feel the length. Every page was beautifully written, especially we can see the cleverness of Eugenides when he changed the narration from Calliope to Cal. From the soft, naive and hesitant little girl, the narrator was transformed into a cooler, distant version of a man who had an unforgettable metamorphosis. The transformation is so perfect, I felt like I’ve known Calliope and Cal for the rest of my life when I finished the book. And although this book has a really heavy sexual content, it doesn’t feel erotic or sexy at all. It just feels scientific =) No wonder Middlesex won a Pulitzer.

Since I read the translated version, I also want to give appreciation to the translator (Berliani Nugrahani), who did an excellent job translating this poetic yet difficult book into a still beautiful (and feels like effortless) Bahasa Indonesia.

I am so totally gonna check more Eugenides books!!!

ps: if you wondered why I wrote in more English lately, well it’s because of the TBR Challenge!!! I actually missed writing in Bahasa Indonesia. But I need to write in English in order to submit my review (and have a chance to win the prize!). So please bear with me, and wish me luck okay! =)