LEE BERGER (45, male) – American. Charismatic, impulsive photojournalist – a passionate idealist who has lost his way after years working in war zones. Trying to live up to the legacy of taking one of the defining photos of the twentieth century.
ZHANG LIN (late 40s, male) – Chinese. Quiet, kind but withdrawn, he lives in Beijing where he teaches Crazy English to young students. He has never truly got over the death of his wife in the Tiananmen massacre when he was a young man, and rejected all protest since.
MEL KINCAID (50s, female) – American. Lee’s best friend and colleague. A journalist at the newspaper. Frighteningly well-read, slightly jaundiced, no nonsense lesbian married to Helen with a son and baby on the way.
TESS KENDRICK (40s, female) – British. A smart and ambitious businesswoman working for a US credit card company based in New York, carrying out market research in China.
FRANK SAMS (60s, male) – American. News editor – good friend and mentor to Lee since the beginning of his career. Republican who hates Trump. Always wears a suit.
JOY FU (40, female) – Hong Kong Chinese. Daughter of Ming Xiaoli, Joy moved to Hong Kong when she married. A human rights lawyer who champions those persecuted by the government. Wants to divorce her cheating husband, attracted to Zhang Lin.
LIULI (early 20s, female) – Chinese. Zhang Lin’s impassioned young wife who dreamt of a democratic future for her country. Tragically died in the Tiananmen massacre. Now haunts Zhang Lin, a constant, shameful reminder that he’s failed to keep fighting the oppressive rule.
MING XIAOLI (59, female) – Chinese. Joy’s mother and Zhang Lin’s neighbour. Very ill, dying from respiratory problems due to pollution in Beijing.
ALEX SGUERRA (20s, female) – American. Young and determined photojournalist, works at Vice. Very hipster, wears a lot of hats. In awe of Lee her whole life until she works out he’s manipulated the Kabul image.
TANG WEN LEI (40s, male) – Chinese. A charismatic, handsome and beautifully dressed businessman. Makes a lot of overblown, political online videos. Lives in luxury in New York.
MARIA DUBECKI (late 40s/early 50s, female) – Chinese American. New York Democratic senator, very pro-Hillary. Maria Meng until she married. Leading figure in the community but with secrets to hide.