Jeffrey Eugenides' second novel is a complex, linguistically rich examination of the life of Cal Stephanides, a second-generation American of Greek extraction who is born intersex in the 1960s and is raised female before discovering his condition and running away to live as a man. The story melds epic and intimacy, drawing on Greek myth, immigration narratives, a deep understanding of the racial and economic dynamics of Detroit, and a complex interplay of femininity and masculinity within one person. Cal's story is sometimes presented as fated for generations, with elements of incest, forbidden love, exile, and secrets lurking deep within each of us.
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