Mountains Beyond Mountains Study Guide - List of Characters

Mountains Beyond Mountains Character List

Major Characters of Book

Character List

Dr. Paul Farmer - Mountains beyond Mountains main character is Paul Farmer, a steadfast and tenacious individual whose position may be filled, but whom could never really be replaced. He has devoted his life to bringing about real economic change in Haiti. Although the odds are monumental, and even though he himself deems the attempt “the long defeat”, Farmer still believes that he must try.

Tracy Kidder - Kidder is the author of the book. This is his documentation of the exploits, travels and travails that he and Paul Farmer share while researching years of Farmer’s work in Haiti and around the globe.

Ophelia Dahl - The daughter of the actress Patricia Neal and the writer Roald Dahl, Ophelia is herself, a success. She begins work with Paul in Haiti, but despite falling in love with him, continues on in her work as his true and constant friend. She is the executive side of Partners in Health.

Dr. Jim Yong Kim - A Korean-American who is enraptured by the work being done in Haiti. He works with Farmer for many years before starting clinics of his own in order to control the TB epidemic in Peru. After taking a liking to the political side of world health care, he became the senior advisor to the director of WHO (World Health Organization) in 2003.


Didi Bertrand – Wife of Paul Farmer and mother of their daughter Catherine. She lives in Paris as she studies for her degree sustaining admirably under the distinct burden of being married to a man that she seldom sees.
Jean-Bertrand Aristide – A former priest who became the president of Haiti. He is greatly admired by both Farmer and Kidder. Aristide intends to pull Haiti out of poverty.

Dr. Jorge Pérez – A doctor who is the head of the Cuban health service. He provides a great example of health care made available for the poor.
Soros - His foundation accesses funds for a Russian anti-Tuberculosis program.

John - A symbol of all of the economically disadvantaged in Haiti who never have a chance. Those whom poverty grasps tightly. An innocent young boy who dies, even though the care givers at Zanmi Lasante hospital do everything in their power to get him to Boston, for a treatment that could have saved his life.

Ti Fifi – An old and dear friend of Paul Farmer, and an administrative assistant in Haiti. She works tirelessly to get John to the U.S.

Ti Jean - Paul’s “chief of staff,” and his closest male confidant in Haiti. He seems to possess an innate understanding of Farmer’s innermost self.

Alcante - Farmer cures this little boy of scrofula, a form of Tuberculosis. His situation at home leads Paul to embark of one of many long and arduous patient care journeys.

Tom White - A multi-millionaire who bestows nearly everything to Farmer, for Haiti.

Father Jack Roussin - Is the priest who convinces Paul to expand PIH (Partners in Health) to Peru. He dies of the very TB he that was trying to abolish.

Dr. Jaime Bayona - A Peruvian doctor. The intermediary for Farmer and Dr. Jim Yong Kim in Peru.

Howard Hiatt - Wants to expand better health care globally. Tries to persuade Paul to become a bureaucrat in order to, as he sees it, better serve Haiti.

Alex Goldfarb - The Russian who prompts Farmer set up a model of disease control in Cange, Siberia, to stem the epidemic of TB in Russia. Even though his personal politics and his garrulous nature often land him in predicaments of a dubious nature, his heart is always in the right place.

Dr. Serena Keonig – A determined doctor who brings young John to Boston. She is a shining example of ‘O for the P’ in action (Options for the Poor).

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