Amaranta Wright was a young writer living in Miami when Levi's hired her to travel through Latin American, befriending teenagers and reporting back with details of their ideas, hopes, fears and aspirations.
Initially, Amaranta saw the job as a means to travel around a continent she loved. But as time passed, the more sinister and divisive aspects of what she was being asked to do became apparent. Like the continent itself, she was in search of an identity, the realisation of which was constantly frustrated by the mechanics of corporate globalisation - its unspoken aim to reduce individuals to bullet points.
This is a compellingly humane portrait of a famously elusive continent in crisis - riddled with paradox, complexity, beauty and brutality. It is a book about the arrogance with which we in the West refer to 'developing' continents, the developed world's overbearing desire to turn people into consumers, and the methods employed to do this which are simultaneously seductive and repellent. It is about the cultural confusion that reigns when indigenous voices are silenced by the promises of inappropriately imposed dreams. An evocative, sensual and politically incisive book.
"Never preaching, always aware of why the individuals she meets are so ready to buy into the consumer dream, Wright details an unforgettable journey of personal discovery while exposing the nihilism which underwrites our global economy."
-"Independent on Sunday"
"The book's power comes from the sense that she dives straight in, that she wears the glad rags, pops the pills, dances the dances and loves the people she meets."
"An intriguing read on the politics and passions of changing nations."
-"Sunday Times Travel Magazine"
Amaranta was born in Buenos Aires in 1972. Her father is Argentinean, her mother English. After reading History at Magdalen College, Oxford, she returned to Argentina and wrote for the Buenos Aires Herald. It was while working in Miami that she was recruited by Levi Strauss as an undercover researcher. Her brief was to investigate the youth of Latin America. She currently writes for the Financial Times, amongst others, and is seeking funding for an ethical magazine for teenagers.