Fiction or fact?

Elizabeth Rahman, anthropologist, unable to attend but present in thought and as a picture on our wall

What is fiction and what is fact?

Readers of Jabujicaba are always asking me questions:

“Does the Jabujicaba tree exist? Is there really an aphrodisiac berry?”
“Who are the indigenous Xana? Why are they represented as fierce?”
“How do you value the forest when it is essential to human survival?”

Rosa da Silva writes in Jabujicaba: “curiosity drives life forward” and the book’s heroine, Carmen, is always asking ‘why?’. It is a question which the Professor, her mentor, believes can change our world.

Fiction can ask the question ‘why’ in an way that engages and holds the reader’s emotion. Reading a novel and ‘learning’ should not feel like you are being preached at. It should feel like¬†forming a new relationship. As you enter the minds of the characters, you begin to care about them and, because they are the ones asking the questions, so too you care about the answers they find.

You may even make discoveries about yourself – new interests, shared values, strong passions. When you finish reading – returning from the world of fiction into the real – you feel inspired.

The following interviews with experts – academics, conservationists, anthropologists and entrepreneurs – discuss the book’s themes and show what can be achieved people being inspired and taking action. The first interview¬†is with the author herself about telling stories and making myths. Enjoy!

Read the interviews