Narrator—thirty-five-year-old mixed-race man, father of three.
Claire—narrator's white wife.
Cecil, called "C"—narrator's oldest son.
Michael, called "Z"—narrator's second oldest son.
Edy, called "The Girl"—narrator's youngest child, his daughter.
Marco Andolini—narrator's friend who lets him stay at his house for the
Marta—narrator's previous landlady.
Sally—narrator's girlfriend in high school.
Gavin—narrator's friend from high school, alcoholic, a poet.
Brian—narrator's friend from high school, dies in attack on the World Trade Center.
Donovan, called "Shaky"—narrator's friend from high school, black Jamaican writer
who is later diagnosed as a schizophrenic and lives on the streets.
Delilah Trent-Usher—black female artist who bumps into narrator and goes with
him for drinks. She is married to a white lawyer.
Johnny Little Nancyboy—man who gives narrator constructions jobs. Narrator had
worked with him before, when narrator was Johnny's boss.
Roman—site manager on narrator's first construction job.
Helena—young woman who pays narrator to build a sink in her bathroom.