by John Updike
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...