Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Oprah Interviews Jeffrey Eugenides, Author of Middlesex

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides - Available from Amazon.com
Oprah once interviewed author Jeffrey Eugenides for Oprah's Book Club. The interview was an interesting read, especially the first page where Eugenides discusses the origins of his award winning book, Middlesex.

Born in Detroit, Michigan on March 8th, 1960, Jeffrey Eugenides tells readers how his high school experience, reading Ovid's Metamorphoses, gave him the first inspiration for writing. Over the years to come he continued to be inspired by the Hermaphrodites-like condition of intersex caused by genetic mutation.

Jeffrey Eugenides first novel, The Virgin Suicides (1993) has also received praise and awards and is considered, "one of the finest first novels of recent memory" (Amazon.com Reviewer, Brad Thomas Parsons).

Although an award-winning author, Eugenides gives the impression of being very grounded in his expectations of himself. About winning the Pulitzer Prize Jeffrey Eugenides says:

"Winning a prize like the Pulitzer changes your life not at all. The daily act of writing remains as demanding and maddening as it was before, and the pleasure you get from writing—rare but profound—remains at the true heart of the enterprise. On their best days, writers all over the world are winning Pulitzers, all alone in their studios, with no one watching. The grail remains interior.

Aside from spasms of triumph, this thing called "success" isn't much, really. Everybody in America is after it, of course. It's the national imperative. But "success" is a curiously vacant state. Success doesn't happen to you. It happens out in the world somewhere."

Middlesex, sounds like a wonderful read and the reviews have been primarily positive. Of 635 reviews on amazon.com 416 of them have gathered 5 stars. I'm hoping to find it on the shelves in my local library this week so I can enjoy the vibrancy of the characters and the engaging voice of the novels star, Cal/Calliope.

Oprah's Book Club Interview with Jeffrey Eugenides

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides on Amazon.com

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