Ernest Hemingway is the author and narrator of the book. An American writer born in the suburbs of Chicago, Hemingway served in the First World War before moving to Paris as a foreign correspondent for… (read full character analysis)
Gertrude Stein is an American writer who lives in Paris with her partner, Alice B. Toklas. Their home, 27 rue de Fleurus, is a hub of creative and intellectual activity, and Stein exerts a… (read full character analysis)
Sylvia Beach is the owner of the English language bookstore Shakespeare & Company, which serves as another important hub of expatriate literary activity. Beach serves a mentor and benefactor to Hemingway, allowing him to… (read full character analysis)
James Joyce is one of the most important writers of the era. He lives in Paris and dines at Michaud’s (an expensive restaurant) with his wife, Nora, and their children. Hemingway looks up to… (read full character analysis)
Hadley is Hemingway’s first wife and the mother of Bumby. Born in St. Louis, she moves to Paris with Hemingway, living there until their marriage ends and Hemingway marries Pauline Pfeiffer.
Jack “Bumby” Hemingway
Hemingway and Hadley’s son, Bumby, is a baby and young child during the period covered in the book. He speaks fluent French and is represented as being rather precocious, having inherited many amusing views about the world from his nanny’s husband, Touton.
Alice B. Toklas
Alice is Stein’s partner who lives with Stein at 27 rue de Fleurus. Hemingway never mentions Alice’s name in the book, referring to her only as Gertrude Stein’s “friend.” When visitors come to 27 rue de Fleurus, the men socialize with Stein while the “wives” interact with Alice.
Chink is a professional soldier and the “best friend” of Hemingway and Hadley. Hemingway met him in Italy, and although he doesn’t make an active appearance in the narrative, Hemingway and Hadley often reminisce about their memories of him.
Nora is James Joyce’s wife and the mother of his two children. Hemingway notes that the family speaks Italian together.
Mike Ward is a friend of Hemingway’s who discourages him from betting at the races over lunch.
Zelda is Scott’s wife and the mother of Scotty. She is a fun-loving, reckless, and unstable person who suffers from alcoholism and whom Hemingway describes as “insane.” Hemingway intensely dislikes her and resents her for ruining Scott’s life.
Frances “Scotty” Fitzgerald
Scotty is the only child of Scott and Zelda.
Chaplin is a famous pitcher whom Hemingway meets at the Dingo bar with Scott.
Dorothy is Ezra Pound’s wife. She is a painter, and Hemingway admires her work.
Ford Madox Ford
Ford Madox Ford is a well-known British writer living in Paris who is famous for his writing about the First World War. Hemingway dislikes spending time around him because he smells so bad, and when they are together Hemingway always tries to stand “windward” of him.
Wyndham Lewis is a British painter and friend of Ezra’s whom Hemingway finds repellent. Hemingway dislikes Lewis’ paintings and thinks he is “nasty”; Gertrude Stein nicknames him the “measuring worm” because of his habit of measuring paintings he sees on display.
Ernest Walsh is an Irish poet whom Hemingway meets at Ezra’s studio. He tells Hemingway he plans to give him a literary prize; Hemingway later learns he has made the same (unfulfilled) promise to almost every other writer he knows in Paris.
Jean is a waiter who works at the Closerie des Lilas who is a friend of Hemingway’s.
Evan is a poet and friend of Hemingway’s, with whom Hemingway discusses Russian literature. Hemingway notes that he has never read anything about Evan, which is why he decides to feature him in A Moveable Feast.
Ralph Cheever Dunning
Dunning is a poet and opium addict whose friends—including Ezra—try to prevent him from dying of starvation.
Herr Walther Lent is an Austrian high-mountain skier with whom Hemingway and Hadley go skiing.
Hemingway meets O’Brien in Italy, and shows him his “racing story.” O’Brien selects a story of Hemingway’s to go in Best Short Stories, but misspells Hemingway’s name.
Cendrars is a Swiss-French poet who likes to box and who drinks too much alcohol. Hemingway sometimes sees him at the Closerie des Lilas.
Pascin is Bulgarian painter and an alcoholic. Hemingway has a drink with him and two sisters at the Dôme.
Pauline Hemingway (née Pfeiffer)
Pauline is an American woman who befriends Hemingway and Hadley before beginning an affair with Hemingway. Hemingway eventually leaves Hadley and marries Pauline.
Georges is the barman at the Ritz Bar, with whom Hemingway is friendly.
Young man in café
One day when Hemingway is trying to work at a café he is harassed by a young, tall, fat man who asks him questions about his writing. The two eventually have a drink, but Hemingway never gives the young man’s name.
T.S. Eliot is a British-American writer who is one of the most important figures of the Modernist literary movement. Ezra decides to raise money in order to help Eliot quit his day job in a bank and devote himself full-time to writing.
Natalie Clifford Barney
Natalie Clifford Barney is a wealthy American woman who hosts a salon at her home and is a friend of Ezra’s.
Larry is a talented black Canadian boxer who comes to fight in Paris. Hemingway is asked to “look after” Larry by his editor at the Toronto Star.
Touton is the husband of Bumby’s nanny, and teaches Bumby many amusing things.
Henry (Mike) Strater
Mike is an American painter whom Hemingway first meets in 1922 in Paris. Years later, he and Mike join Scott and Zelda at the Princeton football game.