The Girl Booker

The Girl Booker

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Stuck In The Middle

Because it is such a long book, I was in the middle of Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides for several days. A colleague of mine who I shall refer to as Tim Tam has concurrently been in the middle of Middlemarch. Things became good-naturedly confusing on several occasions but eventually we had it all sorted out. We discovered to our amusement that both of us had had conversations where the person we'd been talking to thought we were reading the other "middle" book. In case anyone is still confused, this conversation illustrates the difference between the two books:

Tim Tam: I'm quite enjoying Middlemarch, but I still have a fair bit to go.
Me: I'm still reading Middlesex.
Tim Tam: Oh, are you?
Me: Yes. She's just discovered she's a he and has run away from home.
Tim Tam: Oh. Um... I don't think that happens in mine.

But enough of comparisons and on to the meat of Middlesex itself. I enjoyed every one of it's 530 odd pages. It made me realise with great clarity how important fiction can be in illuminating truths. It tells the story of an intersex person with honesty and beautiful, awkward, realistic simplicity. There's no over the top razzle dazzle or even a whiff of this being an "Issue" book. It feels like the truth and that is a wonderful thing. I am very please to inform the eleventy-hundred people who have told me over the past decade that I will love this book that you were all right. I'm sorry it took so long but I am so glad I finally listened to your advice.


  1. This is pretty much one of my favourite books of all time. Ever. Eleventy-hundred people can't be wrong!

  2. Cathy, you are so right! I guess you and I make it eleventy hundred and two!