Geek Love by Katherine Dunn revolves around the Binewski family, the owners and performers in a traveling circus, or "freak" show. Below are the main characters of this family, and a bit about their core characteristics.
Al Binewski. The patriarch of the family is initially portrayed as masterful. He effectively manages and grows the family circus. He is also vivacious, brimming with eccentric speeches, stories, and habits, always displaying a robust energy. However, as power changes hands in the book, he becomes more subdued, frustrated, and concerned with petty matters beneath his once vibrant character.
Lillian Binewski. The mother of the family comes across as elegant and refined, by virtue of her aristocratic Boston upbringing. Yet she too possesses a strong streak of eccentricity, having met her husband Al by performing as a geek, or a person who bites off chicken heads for entertainment. As the book unfolds, she too wanes as her husband does. She lives in denial over the changing landscape of the family and in her old age is erratic and irascible.
Arty Binewski. A narcissist and a talented manipulator, Arty is the eldest son of the family. He possesses a frightful God complex and enjoys not only taking control of his family's business but establishing his own pseudo-religious cult. He has a vicious sense of humor and a voracious appetite which is, ultimately, the family's undoing.
Elly Binewski. Elly is one of two conjoined twins. Like her sister Iphy, she is beautiful and musically talented. She poses the biggest threat to her brother Arty, as she is intelligent and dislikes being controlled or manipulated.
Iphy Binewski. Iphy is the other of the conjoined twins. She is talented yet a bit more vain and submissive than her sister. She cares for Elly but does not go to any great lengths to advocate for herself or anyone else in the family.
Chick Binewski. Chick is the youngest and possesses the most fantastical powers in the family. His immense telepathic and kinetic powers coincide with his personality. He is insightful and extremely observant. He is the most capable and most compassionate member of the family, always concerned about how his powers impact life around him.
Oly Binewski. Oly is the narrator of the book and depicted as the least remarkable "freak" in the family, being an albino hunchback dwarf. She loves her family and concerns herself with their continued survival, yet she is, first and foremost, a devoted minion of Arty's. This, naturally, complicates the reader's feelings about her.