Telegraph Avenue: The Cast

After reading everyone's readalong posts on Part I of Telegraph Avenue earlier this week (if you'd like to explore, you can find them all linked at As the Crowe Flies' main readalong post), I discovered I wasn't the only one who was having a hard time keeping all the characters (and nicknames!) straight. So before diving in to my read of Part II, I went back through Part I and made myself a glossary. If any other readalong readers are interested, here's what I have (and please, tell me if I've noted anything incorrectly!):

Note: This glossary contains spoilers of events contained in Part I. 

Archy Stallings: Co-owner of Brokeland Records with Nat Jaffe. Son of Luther Stallings, husband of Gwen Shanks. Father (from afar) of Titus Joyner, following a long-ago romance with Jamila Joyner. Cheated on Gwen with Elsabet Getachew. Sometimes called "Turtle."

Aviva Roth-Jaffe: Wife of Nat Jaffe. Midwife, business partner of Gwen Shanks. Mother of Julius Jaffe.

Chandler Flowers: Local councilman, Brokeland regular. Uncle to many. Nickname "Chan." Friends with Luther Stallings from the 70s, once shot a man in a club with Luther as the getaway driver.

Cochise Jones: Musician, Brokeland regular. One-time recording artist/song-writer. Owner of Fifty-Eight, the parrot. Father figure to Archy. Neighbor of Titus' aunt (Mrs. Wiggins).

Elsabet Getachew: Waitress at Ethiopian restaurant with whom Archy has had a recent affair.

Garnet Singletary: Archy and Nat's landlord at Brokeland Records. Father of Aisha, grandfather of Rolando English. Nickname "King of Bling."

Garth Newgrange: Partner of Lydia Frankenthaler, nervous father-to-be during at-home birth.

Gibson Goode: Football player-turned-businessman. Opening a Dogpile Thang mega-record shop in close proximity to Brokeland Records.

Gwen Shanks: Wife of Archy Stallings. Midwife, business partner of Aviva Roth-Jaffe. Pregnant with her first child.

Fifty-Eight: Grey parrot belonging to Cochise Jones, won in a bet from Marcus Stubbs.

Jamila Joyner: One-time romance of Archy Stallings, 14 years ago. Got pregnant, moved to Texas to live with her mother. Recently passed away.

Julius Jaffe: Son of Nat Jaffe and Aviva Roth-Jaffe. Nickname "Julie." Movie-lover. In love with Titus.

Luther Stallings: (Absentee) father of Archy Stallings. One-time B-list actor, martial arts expert. Partner (on- and off-screen) with Valletta Moore. Recovering drug addict, alcoholic.

Lydia Frankenthaler: Pregnant woman, customer of Gwen and Aviva. Rushed to hospital during home birth.

Moby Oberstein: White lawyer who consistently "talks black." Works in the same building as Gwen and Aviva. Regular customer at Brokeland.

Mr. Nostalgia: Card collector/dealer.

Nat Jaffe: Co-owner of Brokeland Records with Archy Stallings. Husband of Aviva Roth-Jaffe. Father of Julius Jaffe.

Popcorn Hughes: Shot by Chan Flowers (in the 70s).

Rolando English: Infant son of Aisha, grandson of Garnet Singletary. Borrowed by Archy as a "practice" baby.

S.S. Mirchandani: Owner of liquor and convenience store near Brokeland Records. Regular Brokeland customer and proponent of adding a cafe to the record shop.

Titus Joyner: Son of Jamila Joyner and Archy Stallings. 14 years old. Returned to California to live with his aunt after his mother's death. Currently living with the Jaffes, having befriend Julie at a movie class.

Valletta Moore: One-time B-list actress. Partner (on- and off-screen) of Luther Stallings.

Walter Bankwell: Nephew of Chan Flowers, kindergarten friend of Archy Stallings. Recently hired in a good position at Dogpile Thang.


  1. I am about to start this and I have been keeping up with the read along posts. I think thisvwill be a great resource. Thanks for putting it together.

  2. Replies
    1. Very welcome! I wrote it out for myself and figured enough of the other readalongers were struggling with character names that I might as well share. Now I just hope I didn't get anything wrong!

  3. Thanks much for sharing this with the world. Very helpful. My book group is taking two meetings to discuss this long and complicated book. The lush and jazzy language means you can't speed read. You have to stop often and lick your lips. I love the book. UpperWest Hazel.

    1. You are more than welcome - glad it is helpful!

    2. Another confusing thing is I just finished (I guess) a scene of Gwen and Moby riding the elevator together. Suddenly, the next paragraph she is with a pregnant patient. Abrupt jump. I am actually wondering if my copy is missing a bit. I go by "Dr. Ivo Shandor", by the way.

  4. Thanks for this! I am currently reading this book for Book Club (I'm in the early part of Part II). I'm still not sure what race Cochise Jones is though. Also, are the Jaffes Jewish? With many books, I wouldn't care much about the characters' races - I think that in many works, it is not necessarily important - but apparently this book is going to deal with a lot of "race relations" stuff. Anyway, I'm liking the story and characters ok - but I do NOT like this guy's prose. Anyway, thanks again!


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