(Novels for Students)

Michael Antoniou

Father Mike, assistant priest at the Greek Orthodox church the family attends, married Zoë, Milton's sister, after Tessie broke off her engagement with him. He is sweet-natured before he marries Zoë, but her constant nagging about how successful her brother is compared to him wears him down and turns him bitter. In a desperate attempt to get enough money to leave Zoë and to get even with Milton for his success in business and in marriage, Father Mike tries to blackmail him.

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Eleven is the only name that Cal gives to her older brother. As a child, he likes to shoot, hammer, and smash things. He becomes geeky and nerdy as a teenager but turns into a "John Lennon look-alike" at college where he adopts anti-war and anti-establishment views. He ignores Cal for most of her life since they are far apart in age, but the two become closer when Chapter Eleven faces the Vietnam draft. He ultimately shows his loyalty when he rescues Cal from jail in California. His lack of business sense, however, causes him to ruin his father's hot dog franchise.


Jerome, the Object's brother, is the first boy with whom Cal has sex. He seems to want to have a relationship with Cal, but after Cal rebuffs him, he turns on her and his sister with cruel epithets when he catches them together.

Zora Khyber

Zora Khyber, a hermaphrodite that works at the sex club, is sympathetic to Cal's gender confusion and so spends a lot of time sharing her extensive research with her. She has a marked violent streak, however, that frightens Cal.

Julie Kikuchi

Cal's relationship with Julie Kikuchi, a thirty-six-year-old Asian-American living in Berlin, appears in brief glimpses throughout the text. She is straightforward, asking Cal as soon as she meets her if she is gay. Julie's open-mindedness is evident when she is willing to begin a relationship with Cal after Cal admits that she is a hermaphrodite.

Peter Luce

Dr. Luce diagnoses Cal in New York and writes up her case and publishes it. Although he is considered the world's leading authority on hermaphroditism, he misdiagnoses the causes of the condition. Extremely confident in his medical theories, the "brilliant, charming, work-obsessed" Luce, nevertheless "prayed," Cal assumes, that she "would never show up to refute them."

Object of Desire

Cal names the Object of Desire after a famous European film. The Object is part of the popular clique in Cal's private school, whose members ordinarily shun ethnic girls like Cal. But the Object's loneliness, caused by parents who pay little attention to her, encourages her to begin a friendship with Cal that eventually turns sexual. The Object gives into her feelings for Cal but expresses her insecurities and frustration about her lesbian tendencies when she declares, "You understand everything I say…. Why can't you be a guy?"

Bob Presto

Bob Presto runs the sex club where Cal works. He appears to be sympathetic and kind-hearted when he rescues Cal after she is beaten up by the homeless men, but his ultimate goal is financial.

Clementine Stark

Clementine, Cal's first friend in Grosse Point, teaches her how to kiss...

(The entire section is 1378 words.)