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BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 26 October 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:975
  1. John Quin, consultant physician. (
  1. Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton

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    Jeffrey Eugenides

    Bloomsbury, £16.99, pp 529


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    Cal Stephanides is a 41 year old Greek-American cultural attaché working in Berlin. In this brilliant novel he looks back on his life as man and … girl. Born Calliope, he has 5α-reductase deficiency. This autosomal recessive disorder is characterised by impaired conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone in androgen-dependent target cells. Thus the inspired Jeffrey Eugenides acknowledges his debt to Imperato-McGinley et al's paper in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism(1992;75:1022-6).

    Most patients are raised as females from birth but …

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