American Dirt

American Dirt

A Novel

Book - 2020
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"Tambiň de este lado hay sueǫs. Lydia Quixano Perez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable. Even though she knows they'll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with four books he would like to buy-two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia's husband's tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same. Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia-trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier's reach doesn't extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Flatiron Books, 2020, c2019.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9781250209764
Characteristics: 386 p. ; 24 cm.


From the critics

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Feb 13, 2020

There is quite a bit out there about cartels, border crossings, and immigration. After reading this book I feel Cummins was pointing out, through that social condition, the particular aspect of humanity against humanity and the element of human kindness vs. dehumanization. Readers may disagree on the authenticity or right of free speech. Cummins throws a spotlight on a real condition that should be a concern to all whether or not one favors the source.

Feb 12, 2020

Please choose not to support this book. There are many reasons that this book is problematic, not simply because the author is white. Please see reviews I have linked below.
Many reviews written by POC are able to better express the issues with this book than I ever could. As white people, our job is to listen when POC tell us something is racist or offensive. Just listen and learn.

Also, just need to add after reading the other reviews written on this website. The author never received death threats. That was all lies fed to you, feeding into the scary, dangerous Latino rhetoric. She has been critiqued, of course, as all authors should be, but she is not in danger in any way. She is pretty comfy with her white heritage (she has proclaimed herself as white in the press) and her million dollar advance. Critique and criticism are not censorship. How can it come anywhere close to censorship when this is Oprah’s book club pick? Please don’t worry yourself about the rich, white lady being censored. Haha

Feb 12, 2020

Maybe just skip this one for some accurate information about Mexico instead:

Feb 12, 2020

What a fabulous book! It is a truly gripping read that exposes the reader to the horror of the drug cartels that control almost every aspect of life in Mexico and other Central American countries and the desperation and bravery of the people who flee their vile influence. The reader is immersed in the terror, violence and and hardships that migrants experience as they make their escape to a better life in the USA. But, at the same time, we also get glimmers of hope from the kind and compassionate people they meet along the way. Highly recommended.

Feb 11, 2020

One of the best books I have read in a long time. Everyone should read it to better understand the plight of migrants everywhere and to realize that they are not all “rapists and murderers” as some bigots would have us believe. All most people want is just a fair shot at a decent life for them and their families.

Feb 11, 2020

This novel deals with a subject that I was basically not too familiar with-- the plight of the migrant. Watching the recent news coverage of the terrible treatment towards migrant families in the U. S., and also the violence (mainly drug related) occurring in Mexico , one only gets a "cleaned up" version of actual events. The author of this novel has taken these events to a different level through her realistic characters, and portrayal of their plight towards a better, safer life.She also stresses the ideals of love, friendship, sacrifice, and stamina that enable people to go forward against adversity. Nothing is sugar coated in the telling of this story, and at times it is brutal inreference. I walked away from this novel with a new sense of understanding and compassion .

multcolib_susannel Feb 09, 2020

When a violent drug cartel murders her husband and extended family, Lydia Perez and her young son decide to escape to Colorado.

Feb 09, 2020

An immigrants tale about the need for compassion A challenge for those who oppose it. Until we have lived through it, it cannot be understood. Cummins writes a powerful statement about life in a country run by drug lords

Feb 06, 2020

This book is so well written and well researched. I couldn't read it at night because my heart wouldn't stop racing when I finally managed to put it down. This book will make you think twice about the politics of immigration. A MUST read. As a side note, all of the bad reviews on this book are not reviews of the book itself, but note that the author is "too white". She was born in Spain, has Puerto Rican ancestry, and spent five years in Mexico researching for this book. However, she has white skin and has never herself been an undocumented immigrant (though she is married to one). She has received death threats because of the color of her skin, which is of course racist. Ignore the hate and read this book!

Feb 05, 2020

Racist book. Racist Author. There are better books out there. Don't waste your time

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