Two years ago, we presented a list of what was defined as the best books of the generation by you, our readers. Coming in at number one was Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides. This absolutely amazing book is about a hermaphrodite, Cal/Calliope Stephanides. As I wrote about in the Guide:
All I knew at the time [when I first picked the book up] was that it was about Cal Stephanides, a hermaphrodite born as Calliope (his actual condition is known as 5-alpha-reductase deficiency, and little did I know that knowledge of this genetic curiosity would come in handy years later as a “Nip/Tuck” fan). But it’s also about Turkish/Greek history. And family ties. And immigration and adolescence and ’60s race riots and genetics and gender roles.
It’s just a fantastic piece of writing, and one of the most engrossing books I’ve ever read. So I was pretty stoked this morning to stumble upon a rumor that HBO is developing it as a one hour drama. According to the report, the project is being written by Donal Margulies, who won a Pulitzer for Dinner with Friends, and is being exec produced by Margulies and Rita Wilson (actress and Tom Hanks’ wife). There are a lot of interesting ways you could turn this into a series, and with nothing but speculation and two bucks in my pocket, I would guess that the show is going to largely focus on Calliope’s life as a young girl discovering her condition, with narration from an older Cal, and flashbacks to the older pieces of family history. Which would be just fine by me — while HBO’s been hit-or-miss of late, there’s every chance they could get this right and, though I’m an eternal pessimist, I’m going to hope against hope that they do in fact get this one right. Because if they do, it could be an amazing show.