Who is who?

Getting inside Jabujicaba’s characters

Jabujicaba is a very Latin American novel. Not just in terms of its setting, but also to its narrative style. It has many characters from different generations of families whose alliances and conflicts animate the plot. They also provide a wide range of stakeholder perspectives which Voices for Nature has used as a basis of our educational outreach work, including in the Jabuji Debates and for our forum theatre.

This  list of the main characters is a useful reference with links for further information and ideas if you are involved in one or our projects and need to get ‘into role’.

From the yellow house on the hill in Maricá

Carmen, a journalist from London for the Independent Times, born in Rio and adopted daughter of:
Glória Beatrix Macedo (deceased), a photographer, herbalist and free spirit.
Sesa da Souza, Carmen’s nanny and maid to Glória. Lives in the adobe hut in the bottom of the garden with her husband:
Antônio da Souza (deceased), gardener to Glória and Hannah.

From the Casa Azul on the shore in Maricá

Lara Nussbaum, Carmen’s adoptive sister and wife of Marco the president. Daughter of:
Hannah Nussbaum (deceased), radical lawyer and environmental activist, daughter of:
Esther Nussbaum (deceased), known as Grandma Esther who adopts Lara and Carmen on their mothers’ deaths and takes them to live with her in London.

In Rio de Janeiro

Marco Trani, the president of Brazil, lawyer and environmentalist, husband of Lara and son of:
Roberto Trani: former green congressman and lifelong president of the environmental foundation Foresta SOS which was founded by:
Sérgio da Silva (deceased), Brazil’s richest man.
Braga, adventurer from Rio who lives on a boat in the Great Green City (formerly known as Manaus).


Characters not to be forgotten include the good doctor, Paulo Lima the journalist, Kiko the cook and Capitao the Captain, Braga’s friends who are revolutionary pacifists from the Forest Liberation Front, two ex-lovers of Carmen’s mother (Professor van Hooven and Mar), indigenous people from the fictional Xana tribe – the Godmother, the Akayan, Luis, the ‘baddies’ Fonseca and Enilson.

And then of course there are the spirits –  Xexim, from African time and also Akayan Xana, who appears transformed into the Harpy Eagle. We don’t know whether Pedro the Rat is a spirit who has lived before – but  he has thoughts and feelings. Who said animals don’t in real life? They certainly do in Jabujicaba!

Find out more about our lead characters: