Skip to main content

Everyday Consumption in Twenty-First-Century Brazilian Literature

Lígia Bezerra

As in other contemporary consumer societies, advertisements instruct Brazilians on what to buy in order to become who they aspire to be; companies commodify ideas, emotions, and even social causes. Twenty-first-century Brazilian fiction highlights how our interactions with commodities connect seemingly disconnected areas of everyday life, such as eating habits, the growth of prosperity theology, and ideas of success and failure. Everyday Consumption in Twenty-First-Century Brazilian Fiction is the first in-depth study to map out the representation of consumption in Brazilian fiction written in the twenty-first century. It is also the first to provide a pluralistic perspective on the representation of consumption in this fiction that moves beyond the concern with aesthetic judgment of culture based on binaries such as good/bad or elevated/degraded that has largely informed criticism of this body of literary work. The book contends that current Brazilian fiction provides a variety of perspectives from which to think about our daily interactions with commodities and about how consumption affects us all in subtle ways. Collectively, the narratives analyzed in the book present a wide spectrum of more or less hopeful portrayals of existence in consumer culture, from totalizing dystopia to transformative hope. 


“In Everyday Consumption in Twenty-First-Century Brazilian Fiction, Lígia Bezerra makes a concerted effort to map out representations of consumption in the twenty-first century Brazilian fiction. This richly documented study identifies the ways in which a variety of narratives help us reflect on the interconnections between power dynamics in everyday consumption and spheres of exclusion. The book compares and contrasts different perspectives on consumption, unveiling how consumption mediates several spheres of everyday life in Brazil. Through a close analysis of the works produced by eight contemporary Brazilian writers, the author proposes four different categories of analysis: narratives of totalizing dystopia, narratives of utopic reinvention, narratives of temporary radical suspension and narratives of transformative hope. The author demonstrates a masterful grasp of a wide body of cross-disciplinary theoretical work..”

 —Katia Bezerra, University of Arizona



Lígia Bezerra was born in Várzea Alegre, Brazil. She moved to the United States in 2006, where she completed a master’s in Portuguese at the University of New Mexico and a doctorate in Portuguese with a minor in cultural studies at Indiana University. She also holds a master’s in linguistics from the Universidade Federal do Ceará. She taught Portuguese and English language and linguistics in Brazil and has taught Portuguese and Spanish language as well as Lusophone and Latin American culture in the United States. She is an Assistant Professor of Brazilian Studies at Arizona State University, where she directs the Portuguese program. Bezerra’s research interests include Lusophone and Latin American literature and culture, consumption, and everyday life. She has published articles in journals such as Cultural Studies, Chasqui, Romance Quarterly, and the Luso-Brazilian Review. She has given invited talks at institutions in Argentina, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


PSRL 85. Paper. $45.00. e-Book available. 


Page last updated on 9 January 2024.

For questions about this book, contact