In 1922, a grown brother and sister flee the Turks' burning of the Greek city of Smyrna and make a new life for themselves in Detroit as man and wife. They and their children make a life for themselves in the new land, working in the car factories, running a tavern, and even teaching members of the nascent Nation of Islam to make silk. The narrator of the entire story, Cal Stephaniades, is in the foreign service in Berlin near the end of the century, but his story involves 14 years as a girl because of his genetic hermaphoditism. Cal was known as Calliope, attended all-girls schools, and developed a crush on a wealthy blonde in Grosse Pointe.
This report prepared by David Loftus
Calliope Stephanide's story begins in Turkey and Greece, 60 years before her birth with the marriage of her grandparents, siblings desperately trying to avoid war. Their marriage, and a unique genetic flaw they pass through their children to their granddaughter, is the reason she is a hermaphrodite. The book tells her story, beginning with her grandparent's history in Turkey, continuing through their life in Detroit, and the raising of their children. The story continues with Callie's own childhood up through the point of her self discovery at 14.
This report prepared by Rebecca Reissman
Calliope Stephanides is a fourteen year old hermaphrodite in 1970's era Michigan who was born a girl but realizes she is actually a he. This first-person narrative is about life, sexual identity, and finding a place for all of us at the American table. Eugenides won the Pulitzer prize for this, his second novel.
This report prepared by Christopher J. Stephens