Though many may think that all of Detroit can be captured in one story, it is not possible. The following books are set in Detroit and represent just a taste of the varied culture and people of the city. As said in an article for the Guardian by Anna Clark, "Detroit inspires painstaking realism, stories of the supernatural, riveting non-fiction, and unclassifiable imaginative works. In a city celebrated for its history of making things, the Detroit literary arts are overdue for attention."
A dazzling triumph from the bestselling author of The Virgin Suicides - the astonishing tale of a gene that passes down through three generations of a Greek-American family and flowers in the body of a teenage girl. In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry blond clasmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to develop - leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.The explanation for this shocking state of affairs takes us out of suburbia- back before the Detroit race riots of 1967, before the rise of the Motor City and Prohibition, to 1922, when the Turks sacked Smyrna and Callie's grandparents fled for their lives. Back to a tiny village in Asia Minor where two lovers, and one rare genetic mutation, set in motion the metamorphosis that will turn Callie into a being both mythical and perfectly real: a hermaphrodite.Spanning eight decades - and one unusually awkward adolescence- Jeffrey Eugenides's long-awaited second novel is a grand, utterly original fable of crossed bloodlines, the intricacies of gender, and the deep, untidy promptings of desire. It marks the fulfillment of a huge talent, named one of America's best young novelists by both Granta and The New Yorker .
Strong-willed, self-reliant Gertie Nevels's peaceful life in the Kentucky hills is devastated by the brutal winds of change. Uprooted from her backwoods home, she and her family are thrust into the confusion and chaos of wartime Detroit. And in a pitiless world of unendurable poverty, Gertie will battle fiercely and relentlessly to protect those things she holds most dear -- her children, her heritage . . . and her triumphant ability to create beauty in the suffocating shadow of ugliness and despair