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Characters

Meet the Cast

John Singer

Center of the UniverseSinger is the true centerpiece of this novel – the entire story pretty much revolves around this guy. He helps us understand the other characters and it's through Singer tha...

Mick Kelly

"One Day You're in, the Next Day, You're out"Mick isn't going on Project Runway anytime soon, but she definitely divides up her life according to what's in and what's out – in and out of her own...

Doctor Benedict Mady Copeland

Power to the PeopleCopeland has a lot of issues, that's for sure. But at the center of his story – which comprises a portrait of the Jim Crow South and the injustices that dominated it – are ra...

Jake Blount

Symbol of the TimesJake Blount leaned across the table and the words came out as though a dam inside him had broken. Biff could not understand him any more. Blount's tongue was so heavy with drink...

Biff Brannon

Biff is the novel's ultimate observer – we dare say even more than Singer. In fact, he acts as a quasi-narrator at times. Behind the counter at the New York Café, Biff watches the people of th...

Portia Copeland

Shakespearean Lady and Perhaps a ProphetIf you're a Shakespeare buff, the name Portia should sound familiar. In Julius Caesar, Portia was Brutus' strong wife, who refused to accept her husband's di...

Bubber Kelly

Bubber is a six-year-old kid with huge potential (and a hilarious name) who is destroyed by terrible luck and unfortunate circumstances. On the potential side of things, he's super smart and percep...

Spiros Antonapoulos

Antonapoulos is the ultimate Other. All of his character traits set him apart – he's an immigrant, he's deaf, and he's also a little (or a lot) crazy. The one who always steered the way was an ob...

Harry Minowitz

Harry and Mick have sex. Yeah, we know. And we'll get to that in a second, we promise, but first let's chat about Harry as a character in his own right. Harry provides some key commentary on world...

Willie Copeland

There is some tough competition for "most tragic figure" in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. But we have to say: Willie almost certainly takes the cake.The themes of injustice and loss just crystalize...

Lucile Wilson

Pageant MomLucile is like a mash-up of of various old Hollywood roles – the crazy show-biz mom, the abused wife, the selfish schemer, the opportunistic girl from the "wrong side of the tracks. Yo...

Baby Wilson

We'll go ahead and insert the obvious joke about not putting Baby in a corner and then move on. And hey, Baby Wilson does take dancing lessons. But the similarities between Hunter and Dirty Dancing...

Alice Brannon

Alice is what's known as a termagant wife, which means that she's an overbearing, bad-tempered woman. (Sorry, Alice.) The whole overbearing wife bit is often played up in literature and film for co...

Grandpapa

Daisy's father, known in the book as "Grandpapa," acts as a community leader and family head. But if you're thinking he's like Doctor Copeland, think again. Grandpapa is actually set up as a foil t...

Mr. Kelly

Mr. Kelly is a true product of his era, a victim of the Great Depression. Unemployed because of an injury, Mr. Kelly has become the head of his family in name only. At the time, men were fully expe...

Bill Kelly

The oldest Kelly child, Bill is starting to become a grown-up, though he has some awkward teen years to finish first:His ears flared out and were very red, and though he was just out of high school...

Lancy Davis

Lancy is an angry young man, and not just because he got stuck with the name Lancy. (Hey, at least it's not Bubber.) He's furious because he's young and smart but also African American, which in th...

Etta Kelly

Much like her older sister Hazel, Etta is vain and materialistic. But here's the rub: Etta isn't that good looking, and she spends her time fretting over her looks:She primped all the day long. And...

Minor Characters

B.F. Mason Mason is an African-American con-artist who runs a scheme involving pensions on the local black community. He goes to jail for it, but not before ripping off a lot of people who sure cou...
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