Maicon Tenfen

Maicon Tenfen


Maicon Tenfen was born in the countryside of Santa Catarina, Southern Brazil, on the last day of 1975. He graduated in Letters in 1998. Between 2000 and 2006, he completed his Master’s and Doctorate’s degrees in Literary Theory at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC). For more than ten years, he wrote weekly chronicles for the newspapers of Grupo RBS, a Southern Brazil media conglomerate.

He teaches Brazilian Literature in universities, presents workshops about creative writing and has given more than 400 lectures on Literature & Citizenship. Nowadays he spends his time on QUISSAMA, an adventure trilogy which takes place during the African slavery period of Brazilian history. THE CAPOEIRA EMPIRE, the first volume of the series, was a finalist for Jabuti Awards.


Rio de Janeiro, 1868. A kid named Vitorino Quissama is a runaway slave that counts on the English detective Daniel Woodruff to help him find his missing mother. Moving between the Court halls and the precarious dwellings of tenements, the duo ends up facing many hazards and fighting against the injustices of a society sustained by slave labor. THE CAPOEIRA EMPIRE reconstitutes the saga of a city divided by the secret war between Nagoas and Guaiamuns, two of the largest and most feared gangs of capoeiras in the 19th century. In a time when the nationalist writer José de Alencar was the Minister of Justice and the Brazilian Empire sent all its resources to the War of Paraguay, Woodruff could barely imagine that, behind Vitorino’s personal quest, there was a conspiracy that would change the destiny of Brazilian history.

The first volume of an adventure trilogy that opens Latin America’s African origins for debate, THE CAPOEIRA EMPIRE went on to the finals of Jabuti Awards in 2015. It has been recently and successfully adapted to a board game format. Supported by Ancine (Agência Brasileira de Cinema), it is also being adapted to an animation series for TV and the Internet.

Publication/status: by Editora Biruta in 2014.


Paraguay battlefield, 1869. Continuing on the saga, Daniel Woodruff finds out that Vitorino Quissama’s mother was seen in the large military campsites in Luque, soon after Brazilian troops took over the capital of Paraguay. But what would a runaway slave be doing amidst a war? This is what Woodruff and Vitorino need to find out on their dangerous trip to “enemy territory”. Due to a series of unexpected events, the duo ends up splitting. While the Englishman, moved by personal and humanitarian feelings, is in charge of protecting the lives of two little Indians who are persecuted by Italian smugglers, Vitorino Quissama, now a “free man”, is forced to enroll as a volunteer in the army led by D. Pedro II’s son-in-law.

This is when we learn that the secret war of Nagoas and Guaiamuns happens not only in Rio de Janeiro but at the very heart of the Brazilian armed forces. The second volume of the trilogy, ENEMY TERRITORY takes place in the final months of an infanticidal war which redefined the political scenario in South America. It will be adapted to a board game format as well. Many of its chapters will be taken to the animation series produced with Ancine’s support.

Publication/status: by Biruta in March 2018.