Read this book!
Here's an interview with the book's author Jeffrey Eugenides.
"With Middlesex...I had two visual models in mind. One was the interior of a Greek Orthodox church. Those gilded interiors covered with icons, faces everywhere you look. And dark grottoes where candles are smoking. And lots of noise from people talking during the service. And the big face of the Christ Pantocrator on the dome, looking down. That was like my narrator, Cal, both omniscient and not, both transcendent and immanent in creation, born of woman. The other image in my mind was the Diego Rivera mural at the Detroit Institute of Arts, depicting the automotive industry (Detroit Industry, 1932). I urge anyone who ever ends up in Detroit to go see it. I grew up looking at it and it still has a totemic power over me. Interestingly, long after I started Middlesex, I went to see it again and noticed the four races of humankind up near the ceiling. My attention had always been on the assembly line and smokestacks on the lower panels. But now I saw the four races. And Rivera had rendered them as hermaphrodites. This was back in 1932. I never knew about any of that as a kid. I just loved the activity of the mural, all the colors, and the feverishness of the workers, and the social implications, and the fact that so much was going on. Just like on the walls at church. I wanted Middlesex to be like that, both teeming and serene."