Freddy “Ace” Anderson The protagonist of “Ace in the Hole.” Ace is a profoundly depressed husband and father who reminisces frequently about his time as a high-school basketball star.
Evey Ace Anderson’s pragmatic wife. She is Roman Catholic and alternates rapidly between friendly sarcasm and vindictiveness.
Ace’s mother Ace’s mother watches her granddaughter, Bonnie, while Ace and Evey are at work. She loves her son, defending him when he gets fired, while constantly complaining about Evey.
Goldman Ace Anderson’s former boss who fires him for a parking mishap before the narrative of “Ace in the Hole” begins.
Bonnie Ace Anderson’s infant daughter.
Coach Behn Ace Anderson’s high-school basketball coach. Ace thinks of him often and fondly.
Sammy A 19-year-old cashier at an A & P supermarket, and the narrator of “A & P.” He quits his job in a fit of teen angst and sexual attraction.
Stokesie A male cashier at A & P.
Queenie A beautiful young woman who shops at the A & P with her friends wearing nothing but a bathing suit.
McMahon The butcher at A & P.
Lengel The straight-laced manager of A & P.
David Kern The fourteen-year-old main character of “Pigeon Feathers.” He is consumed by fears of mortality, and seeks out answers in books, at church, and in the natural world.
Elsie Kern David’s kindly mother, who appreciates nature and is closely attuned to the people around her.
George Kern David’s overbearing father is a schoolteacher with a very negative outlook on life. He hates living on a farm and resents his wife’s affinity for organic farming.
Granmom David Kern’s maternal grandmother, who lives with his family and is afflicted by Parkinson’s disease.
Reverend Dobson The Lutheran minister of the Kerns’ church. He is unable to give adequate answers when David questions him about the afterlife in Sunday school.
Boyer The wealthy man from whom the Kerns bought their farm.
Anita Haier David’s Sunday school classmate. She giggles at his questions during class. Her father, head of the most influential family in Firetown, drops David off after class.
Richard Maple “Separating” is told from the perspective of its protagonist, Richard Maple, a husband and father to four children.
Joan Maple The down-to-earth but self-absorbed wife and mother in “Separating.”
Judith Maple The sophisticated eldest Maple daughter who has just returned from studying abroad in “Separating.”
Dickie Maple The second-eldest Maple child. He has just started college and is at home for the summer. He works at a golf course. Richard refers to him as his “conscience.”
John Maple Richard and Joan’s youngest son John is 15 at the time of “Separating.” He acts immaturely when told of his parents’ split and is more concerned with escaping his own miserable experiences at school.
Margaret Maple The youngest Maple child, 13.
Fogel Fogel is an irritable 62-year-old man and the main character of “Short Easter.” He is very conscious of his aging and is plagued by memories of missed opportunities.
Fogel’s wife Fogel’s spry, energetic wife frequently nags him to do chores and abandon his “doddery” old-man habits. Although she is arguably more youthful than he is, Fogel nevertheless longs for a younger wife who would have more sympathy for his problems.
The Allisons The hosts of the brunch Fogel attends with his wife in “Short Easter.”
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A&P and Other Stories: Major Themes A&P and Other Stories: Questions A&P and Other Stories: Purchase the Novel and Related Material John Updike: Biography
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