Amazon Dream

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At last, an alternative to the Harrison Ford-style travel adventure! Amazon Dream is the real story of a woman's journey into the Peruvian Amazon, a mysteriously beautiful region of the world that is also the nexus of calamitous ecological realities. Traveling alone, she arrives at a so-called conservation camp, run by a man of dubious character, and learns what jungle life is like. Here she encounters bizarre characters, Peruvians and exiles alike. She visits the ancient Shipibo people renowned for their ...

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Overview

At last, an alternative to the Harrison Ford-style travel adventure! Amazon Dream is the real story of a woman's journey into the Peruvian Amazon, a mysteriously beautiful region of the world that is also the nexus of calamitous ecological realities. Traveling alone, she arrives at a so-called conservation camp, run by a man of dubious character, and learns what jungle life is like. Here she encounters bizarre characters, Peruvians and exiles alike. She visits the ancient Shipibo people renowned for their textiles and pottery and describes the way rapid change has affected them.

In hair-raising predicaments and emotional interactions, Allen continually challenges herself as a traveler. She confronts her ambivalence about coming from a dominant Western culture and, at the same time, looks for personal truths through the lens of this compelling wilderness. Situating her experiences in a cultural context, Allen conveys insight into other ways of life, and into the life of real dreams.

Roberta Allen is the author of The Traveling Woman, stories; and The Daughter, a novella-in-stories. She is also a visual artist who has exhibited worldwide.


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Allen's ( The Daughter ) tale of her journey in the Peruvian Amazon is intriguing but strangely detached from the natural wonders she sees and the people she meets. Allen witnesses--and describes in clear, visual terms--the secret life that teems both above and below the surface of the forest, yet her tone seems curiously superficial in light of her claim that she had always fantasized about the Amazon. Particularly fascinating are her visits to the isolated villages of the Shipibo peoples, whose delicately painted pottery she admires; but here, too, her perceptions fail to penetrate the surface: having been told that the Shipibo love to bargain, she is disappointed when one artist refuses to negotiate with her. She is at once afraid of and interested in the various men who act as guides throughout her trip, but she seems somewhat ignorant about their culture. Allen reports the many times that someone asks her whether she is married or has children; seeing a photo of the cast of Dynasty on the wall of a village hut, she seems surprised to learn that ``everyone knows about Dynasty ,'' as one of her guides says. Photos not seen by PW. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Allen fantasized about the jungle from the time she was a small child. In 1987, she took a trip alone to the Peruvian Amazon to fulfill her dream. She found the reality of the jungle quite different from her imaginings. Starting in a conservation camp run by a seedy character, she here recalls her experience: the constant bugs, snakes, and other wild animals, as well as the heat, rain, and mud. The native people she meets are different from what she expects, and they provoke feelings of guilt about her affluent Western background. At one point, she sinks into a state of depression and almost leaves without visiting the people she hoped to see, the Shipibos. Eventually, she visits the Shipibo people and buys some of their pottery. Allen feels a connection to the women of the Shipibo tribe, who are renowned for their art. This book is an interesting and well-written account of a region in flux. Recommended for public libraries.-- Lisa J. Cochenet, Rhinelander Dist. Lib., Wis.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872862708
  • Publisher: City Lights Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/1993
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.53 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 0.58 (d)

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