The epic saga of three generations of an American family includes intervals of ambition, love, violence, and change, focusing on the turbulent lives of the Stasso children.
Michael Cunningham's novel A Home at the End of the World introduced him as one of the most passionate of contemporary writers. In Flesh and Blood, he has produced a work of broad sweep, powerful narrative drive, and intense feeling. Flesh and Blood follows the Stassos family through four generations, as it is transformed by ambition, love, violence, and accumulating history. Constantine Stassos, a Greek immigrant, marries Mary Cuccio, an Italian-American girl, and they have three children, each fated to a complex life. Susan is oppressed by her beauty and her father's affections; Billy is brilliant, and gay; Zoe is a wild, heedless visionary. As the years pass, their lives unfold in ways that compel them, and their parents, to meet ever greater challenges. Zoe raises a child in New York with a transvestite friend; Billy searches for love and battles with his father; Susan raises a son whose explosive emotions bring the story to its climax. Generous, masterfully crafted, alternately stirring and heartbreaking, Flesh and Blood is a rich and memorable sounding of contemporary life.