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Characters

Meet the Cast

Cal (Calliope) Helen Stephanides

Greece-d LightningCal is a "former field hockey goalie [...] and, for most of [his] adult life, an employee of the U.S. State Department" (1.1.2). This is interesting enough, but his professions an...

Desdemona and Eleutherios (Lefty) Stephanides

Coming to AmericaThis brother and sister duo, Cal's grandparents, are like the Wonder Twins, but with fewer superpowers and a little more incest. Maybe. We have no idea what those Wonder Twins are...

Miltiades "Milton" Stephanides and Theodora "Tessie" Zizmo Stephanides

Be Careful What You Wish ForCal's parents couldn't decide whether they wanted a boy or a girl. They wanted both and, well, they got what they asked for with Cal. Kind of.We've talked a lot about Ca...

Bob Presto and His Mermaids

Down Where It's Wetter Bob Presto picks up Cal while Cal is hitchhiking from New York to California. Cal believes that Dr. Luce views him as his "star attraction" (4.1.168), but Luce is subtle abou...

Chapter Eleven

Chapter SummaryChapter Eleven is the only name we know Cal's brother by. Here's how Cal describes him: "Pasty, and bald by the age of twenty-three, so that he makes a perfect homunculus" (2.7.8). C...

Dr. Luce

Luce Morals Dr. Luce is the head of the Sexual Disorders and Gender Identity Clinic at New York Hospital. His office is filled with sexually charged art, and his bookshelves buckle under the weight...

Dr. Nishan Philobosian

Dr. Phil without the Bad MustacheDr. Philobosian has a bad life—his entire family is murdered in Greece, and he almost gets thrown off the boat during his escape to America. Milton saves the guy'...

Father Michael Antoniou and Zoë Helen Stephanides

Opposites AttractFather Mike and Aunt Zo are like the alternate reality version of Milton and Tessie—they're the even sadder version of these two. Father Mike is uptight and a prude; Aunt Zo is a...

Julie Kikuchi

The Juliet to Cal's RomeoWe only get select glimpses at Julie Kikuchi as present-day Cal slowly courts her. He describes her as "irreverent without being crude" (2.5.7), and quotes her as saying, "...

Marius Wyxzewixard Challouehilczilczese Grimes

If That Is Your Real NameThis mouthful is named after an Ethiopian Nationalist, and he hangs out near Milton's bar saying things like "They don't give loans to black folks" (3.1.61) (perhaps he was...

The Obscure Object and Jerome

An R-Rated Version of Charlie Brown's Little Red-Haired Girl Cal can only refer to the Obscure Object with literary and pop culture references at first. He describes her freckled skin by quoti...

Sourmelina "Lina" Papadiamandopoulos and Jimmy Zizmo (Zisimopoulos)

Thin IceLina is Lefty and Desdemona's cousin who lives in America; she's also the mother of Tessie, Cal's mom. Once Tessie is born, though, Lina's character kind of fades into the background.Lefty...
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