The Troubleseeker-A Guide to the Characters

Narrated by the ancient Roman Emperor and demigod Hadriano, The Troubleseeker  weaves Cuban-Santería traditions with classical Greek mythology to depict the hero Antinio and his quest  for freedom, identity, and love.

Santería is the religion and the set of beliefs that the slaves from Yorubaland in present day Nigeria brought with them as they were transported against their will to the New World. In Cuba and Puerto Rico, their religion is known as Santería, in Haiti it is called Voudu and in Brasil it is Candomblé. Like the Greeks, Santería has a pantheon of gods, called orishas, each with their own powers and/or set of responsibilities.

Each week until publication in September, I will highlight different characters from the novel. To whet your  imagination and feed your anticipation, here are the many of the characters waiting for you will soon discover.

The Gods
Aganju—Santería orisha of the mountains
Apollo—Greek god of the arts, of light and healing
Athena—Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, law, and justice
Babalú Ayé—Santería orisha of disease and healing
Changó—Santería orisha of wind, hurricanes, and thunder
Elegguá—Santería orisha of highways and crossroads
Hera—Greek goddess of women and marriage
Hermes—Greek god of travelers, thieves, and merchants
Obatála—Santería orisha, creator of the earth
Ochún—Santería orisha of love and beauty
Oko—Santería orisha of food
Olokun—Santería orisha of the ocean bottoms
Oyá—Santería orisha of change
Ozain—Santería orisha of forests
Yemayá—Santería orisha of earth and sea, mother of all orishas

The Demi-Gods
Hadriano—Hadrian, Roman Emperor, 117–138 AD, deified after his death
Antinous—lover of Hadrian, 111–130 AD, deified after his death

The Humans
Akos—asylum seeker in Cuba, judge of the dead in the Underworld
Alethia—block leader in Cuba, from the Greek word meaning truth
Anticlea—mother of Antinio, twin sister of Erastos, from the Greek tale The Odyssey, meaning without fame
Apolion—a bully in Cuba, from the Greek word meaning destroyer
Archon—an immigration official in Minnesota, from one of nine ancient Greek magistrates
Atropos—third lover of Antinio, from the third Greek Fate, who cuts the thread of life
Avis—Antinio’s aunt in Cuba, from the German word meaning refuge from war
Boreas—a lawyer in Minnesota, from the Greek word meaning the north wind
Brontes/“Ciclope”—a mill superintendent in Cuba, from the giant, one-eyed tribe in The Odyssey
Calypso—a proctectress in Cuba, from the Greek nymph in The Odyssey
Circe—Antinio’s wife, from the Greek sorceress in The Odyssey
Cloto—Antinio’s first lover, from the first Greek Fate, who spins the thread of life
Diotima—Antinio’s friend at the hospital, from the name of the Greek oracle
Dr. Paean—Antinio’s doctor, from the Greek physician of the gods
Erastos—Antinio’s uncle, from the Greek word meaning an early disciple
Erato—Antinio’s best friend, from the Greek muse of love and erotic poetry
Euterpa—a cello player, from the Greek muse of music
Fineo—Antinio’s friend, from Phineus, Greek blind seer who revealed the path to Jason
Icario—Antinio’s twin son, from Icarus, a boy who flew too close to the sun
Laquesio—Antinio’s second lover, from Lachesis, second Greek Fate, who measures the length of life
Minos—A hospital doctor, from the judge of the dead in the Underworld
Oydis—Antinio’s coworker, from the Greek goddess of good luck
Philippides—guard at the Pergamon in Berlin, from the courier who ran the original marathon
Polideuces—Antinio’s twin son, from Pollux, Roman twin, meaning very sweet
Pothos—Antinio’s lover, from the Greek god of sexual longing
Theron—a gay journalist in Minnesota, from the Greek name meaning hunter
Tiresias—prophet of Apollo, a man born to anger the gods
Tityus, Tantalus, Sisyphus—hospital patients, from the tortured mortals in the Underworld
Tyro—asylum seeker in Cuba, from a heroine in the Underworld
Volodya—a Russian soldier in Cuba

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