Starting over again

A critical part of the early chapters in Middlesex chronicle Desdemona and Lefty Stephanides’ emigration from their small Greek village to Detroit as a direct result of the destruction of Smyrna during the Greco-Turkish War.

Photo of Smyrna in flames, September 14, 1922

The Hellenic Genocide’s collection of photos

“The worst, he said, were the women with dead babies.” – A brief excerpt of Ernest Hemingway’s “On the Quai at Smyrna” from his book In Our Time (Boni & Liveright, 1924).

Do you think that if the war hadn’t given Desdemona and Lefty the chance to start over again, in a place where no one knew them, as husband and wife instead of brother and sister that their relationship would still have taken a romantic turn?


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