Texas writer William Goyen's last novel, _Arcadio_, a first-person account of a hermaphrodite's swan song, provides readers with a challenge every bit worth the effort. If one has read other Goyen (House of Breath, stories from Had I a Hundred Mouths), then _Arcadio_ will satisfy the curiosity about how Goyen's fiction "ended." If one has never read a Goyen work, then this will surely inspire.
The novel tells the story of Arcadio, a freak by anyone's (including his own) standards; Goyen explores boundaries of sexuality, ethnicity, and language in the tale as Arcadio tells his story of existing in a world that categorizes people. It is tragic comedy or a comic tragedy, depending on the reader's viewpoint.
Goyen displays his talents as a student of human nature and his art with capturing authentic language. Arcadio's broken English (Spanglish), stream-of-consciousness style, aids readers in entering his tormented mind.
This book is for anyone who wants a good, but compelling read.
Trivia fact: Goyen's widow is Emmy-award-winning actress Doris Roberts (of Everybody Loves Raymond fame).