Study Guide

Middlesex Book 3, Chapter 3

By Jeffrey Eugenides

Book 3, Chapter 3


  • Oh hey there, book title. Nice to see you.
  • As Detroit crumbles, all the white people move out, including Calliope's family.
  • Thanks to the windfall of insurance money, Milton is able to buy a house on Middlesex Boulevard with cash. The whole family moves in: Milton, Tessie, Calliope, Chapter Eleven, Desdemona, Lefty, and Alice the maid. Oops, sorry, we got confused with the Brady Bunch.
  • Calliope's youth is punctuated by two events: her regular walks with her mute grandfather, and her first experimental kiss with her neighbor Clementine Stark. The walks are good. So is the kiss.
  • The Starks move away after Clementine's father dies.
  • Around the same time, Lefty has one final debilitating stroke. He starts to regress, traveling backward in time, until one day he calls Desdemona "sis" (3.3.128).
  • When Lefty finally dies, Desdemona goes to bed and "For the next ten years, except for a bath every Friday, she never got out again" (3.3.138).