Simultaneous emotional and fact-based learning
Literary fiction enables emotional learning through the reader’s empathetic identification with characters. There is a strong body of research (although not disputed) which supports this. As the reader identifies with characters and attempts to understand their motivations, he or she ‘lives’ their experience and learns from an experience which may not have been possible in his/her ‘real’ life. Empathy is a skill which is critical to everything we do as humans because we are social animals . In our multi-cultural, complex world, it is even more important to understand how others see the world.
The exciting plot of a thriller is also an immersive way to learn ‘hard’ facts about about subjects and issues which can sometimes seem complex or ‘dry’. It whets the appetite for finding out more. In our novels (as for our outreach) we join up academic disciplines across the sciences and arts.
Fiction as the start of a journey
Voices for Nature writes and publishes bespoke fiction which explores complex sustainable development agendas. The aim is not only to inspire and inform readers but also to serve as springboard and tool for our engagement work with young people .
Jabujicaba is an eco-thriller set in Brazil: the country is on the verge of bankruptcy and the president is auctioning off the Amazon forest. Carmen Macedo, a journalist from London is sent to investigate an environmental disaster for her paper. She finds herself on a mission to save the country of her birth and is forced to confront tragic events in her childhood.
Carmen’s journey takes her through the apocalyptic cities of Brazil, into the deepest Amazon and the darkest rooms of her mind. She meets colourful and challenging characters, encounters ‘savage’ Indians, faces nature’s wildest obstacles and finds herself drawn to the mysterious Braga who has links with the secretive Forest Liberation Front.
The plot weaves in and out of myths and legends, fact and fiction and the stories the characters tell about themselves and each other. It asks fundamental questions about who we are in this world. In discovering her own answers, Carmen is guided by the eccentric Professor van Hooven.
This video shows the actress and poet Yrsa Daley-Ward telling our story – and how to pronounce the word ‘Jabujicaba’!
Buy and read Jabujicaba e-book on Amazon Kindle (all royalties go to conservation)
Sequel “Caretta Caretta”
Caretta Caretta is a novella and sequel to Jabujicaba. It is set on Brazil’s recently discovered Amazon Reef and plunges the reader into the deep murky waters of power, greed and political machination. Carmen Macedo the heroine, risks her own life to prevent others exploiting the reef.
Buy and read Caretta Caretta e-book on Amazon Kindle (all royalties go to conservation)