New in paper, his Pulitzer Prize-winning 2002 novel Middlesex is an unlikely enough novelnine years in the making after The Virgin Suicidesand an even more

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Jeffrey Eugenides

New in paper, his Pulitzer Prize-winning 2002 novel Middlesex is an unlikely enough novelnine years in the making after The Virgin Suicidesand an even more unlikely bestseller, about a "roller-coaster ride of a single gene through time," Eugenides writes. That gene expresses itself as hermaphroditism, which leads Middlesex into an expansive, doubly narrated, decades-spanning tale of Cal/Calliope and his/her tangled Greek-American family history. Since the formation of sexual identity is a hot cultural-academic topic, and since everybody loves big, fat Greek families, Middlesex's success has only cemented Eugenides' rep in the Franzen smart-pop lit pantheon. But don't worry if you haven'tgasp!actually read the book or seen Sofia Coppola's adaptation of Suicides. This season-opening event in the fall Seattle Arts & Lectures series is preceded (at 5:30 p.m.) by a wonky preview to Eugenides' work, courtesy of U-Dub profs Jessica Burstein and Jennifer Bean. Benaroya Hall (S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium), 3rd & Union Sts., 206-621-2230. $9-23. 7:30 p.m. Mon. Sept. 29. BRIAN MILLER

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