Middlesex

Clever, somewhat bright writing, but not worthy of the Pulitzer. Callie/Cal recounts the past in order to explain the current, starting in a small village in Turkey where her grandmother fell in love with her brother, escaped to America, got married, thereby encouraging the mutation of a gene which causes hermaphroditism. The grandparents end up in Detroit, so a full picture of 1930-1970s Detroit emerges, with rampant decay, race riots, irrelevance. Cal is raised as a girl, her physician too old to notice anything wonky about her genitalia, herself not really noticing until puberty. Her love affair with the red-haired nymph nicknamed the Object, being caught in flagrante indelicto by the Object’s brother, chased and hit by tractor, concussed, then genital confusion discovered in the emergency room. After traveling to NYC to see a specialist, Cal convinces the doctor she is female, and the doctor recommends surgery to snip the offending member. Cal discovers his notes, runs away to California, camping in Golden Gate park with Deadheads, beat up by transients, then working at a tranny club until it is busted by police.