Cal is one of the most unique narrators in modern literature, but Jeffrey says he isn't surprised that so many people relate to the character. "I wrote the book not so much as a book about an issue. I think of it as a modern myth about adolescence," he says.
Cal, Jeffrey says, experiences many of the same things we all do growing up. "I feel that Callie, in my book, goes through things we all go through but to an exaggerated or to an extreme degree. In adolescence, all of us have extreme physical changes, we learn who we are. And that might include who we love, who we're attracted to," he says.
"So I think anyone reading the book remembers adolescence and remembers all those feelings, and that's how I thought about it," Jeffrey says. "And I never thought about an intersex person as so different from me, and the emotional life of such a person wouldn't be alien to me at all."