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Jazz | Characters

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Character Description
Violet Trace Violet is a middle-aged woman living in the City who struggles to understand her husband's affair with a younger woman. Read More
Joe Trace Joe is a man whose marriage has dissolved into silence and loneliness, which drives him to have an affair with a younger woman. Read More
Dorcas Dorcas is an attractive young woman with whom Joe has a short but intense affair that results in her murder. Read More
Alice Manfred Alice is a strict woman who tries to protect her niece, Dorcas, from sexual temptation and who struggles to understand her niece's murder. Read More
Acton Acton is the young man Dorcas dates when she is breaking off her affair with Joe.
Felice Felice is Dorcas's close friend and confidante; she helps Violet and Joe understand Dorcas after her death.
Honor Honor is a young teen who assists Henry LesTroy in Virginia; he helps Wild give birth.
Sweetness Sweetness is Malvonne's nephew, who for reasons unexplained stole and opened mail before moving to a city out West.
Victory Victory is the foster brother with whom Joe grows up.
Wild Wild is a woman who lives in the woods near Joe's home, never speaks, and is Joe's mother.
Golden Gray Golden Gray is the spoiled son of Vera Louise Gray and Henry LesTroy; he struggles to accept his biracial parentage.
Henry LesTroy The father of Golden Gray, hunter Henry LesTroy helps Wild deliver her baby and finds a foster family for him.
Malvonne Edwards The Traces' nosy and observant neighbor, Malvonne rents Joe her rooms for his trysts with Dorcas and later regrets doing so.
Rose Dear Rose Dear is Violet's mother, who collapses under the stress of poverty, an absentee husband, and racial injustice and ends up drowning herself.
True Belle True Belle begins life as Vera Louise's slave and helps her raise Golden Gray; later she becomes surrogate mother to Rose Dear's five children.
Vera Louise Gray Vera Louise is a young Virginian woman who has an affair with Henry LesTroy and raises their child, Golden Gray, in Baltimore.
Winsome Clark Winsome Clark is the writer of one of the letters that Sweetness stole.
Colonel Wordsworth Gray Colonel Gray is a wealthy Virginian who disowns his daughter when she becomes pregnant with Henry LesTroy's baby.
Gistan Gistan is one of Joe's friends in the City.
Stuck Stuck is one of Joe's friends in the City.
Frances Miller Frances Miller is Alice Manfred's pious neighbor who takes care of children; she is Neola's sister.
Neola Miller Neola Miller is Alice Manfred's pious neighbor who takes care of children; she is Frances's sister.
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