Nearing the age of retirement Cooper is an eccentric teacher of English in a small county town. Celibate, apprehensive and unadventurous he yet carries within him a powerful passion - a love of words for their own sake and a devotion to poetry. In the course of his teaching Cooper communicates this passion to one of his students; they begin to meet secretly, and in her Cooper discovers the gift for writing that he has yearned for all his life but is certain he does not possess. But the small world of the county town mistakes a literary affair for a carnal one and a scandal develops. In a gesture of defiance the young woman sends her diary of the year to Cooper and he at last learns her true feelings, but it is all too late and the supposed lovers are parted. Initially dismayed by this turn of events Cooper decides to arrange the girl's diary into its separate moods of Autumn, Winter and Spring. Then, having done the same for a commonplace-book he has kept for many years, he sets about weaving the two strands together to form a story - a web of poems and prose, dreams and desires, regrets and memories. So just when it seems that nothing lies before him but loneliness and despair, he finds instead that he has created his first book. Journal of a Sad Hermaphrodite is Michael de Larrabeiti's masterpiece, available for the first time in over fifteen years.