American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club) - Jeanine Cummins

American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club)

By Jeanine Cummins

  • Release Date: 2020-01-21
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
Score: 3.5
3.5
From 1,097 Ratings

Description

#1 New York Times Bestseller
OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK

Extraordinary.”
Stephen King

“This book is not simply the great American novel; it’s the great novel of las Americas. It’s the great world novel! This is the international story of our times. Masterful.”
—Sandra Cisneros

También de este lado hay sueños. On this side, too, there are dreams.

Lydia Quixano Pérez 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 a few 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?

American Dirt will leave readers utterly changed. It is a literary achievement filled with poignancy, drama, and humanity on every page. It is one of the most important books for our times.

Already being hailed as "a Grapes of Wrath for our times" and "a new American classic," Jeanine Cummins's American Dirt is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope.

Reviews

  • American Trash

    1
    By El Nacho Bossa Nova
    Just like the author and her barbed-wire party.
  • abosuletly disgusting

    1
    By Anime_Lover67
    my class is currently reading articles about this book and this is just humiliating. “my dad died so i’m gonna be racist” is what cummins basically said. cummins has no right to write a book like this. it’s also just a bad book in general lol
  • Horrible

    1
    By Alcabu
    A clueless privileged white woman has no business writing so many false negative stereotypes about a Mexican's reality.
  • Suciedad Americana

    1
    By Angry guy 90178
    Very bad book, please stop making money with the disgrace of other people, this is just an array of damaging stereotypes making look Mexicans like a horde of brown savages. The prose is poor and the plot is as profound as any soap opera your tía would see on Telemundo. DO NOT BUY this book, there is a ton of books writing by latinx that describe the experiences that this writer will never understand #Dignidadliteraria
  • Problematic at best, literary diarrhea at worst.

    1
    By NathanFat
    “American Dirt” is the classic tale of a Mexican woman who witnesses the cartel execution of her family, as is common apparently, and proceeds to Google how to be Mexican all while describing how seeing dead people in the streets is just as common as stray dogs. It’s not enough that the author claims the book speaks on behalf of undocumented people, but that she got the most basic of things wrong. Our main character is somehow surprised by the beauty of the Mexican landscapes and buildings, and then calls the gorgeous color palettes “cartoonish”. Go to Guanajuato or Tepotzotlán and tell me with a straight face the city’s colors are cartoonish. Our character then proceeds to be shocked and delighted by the Mexicans she comes across in her journey, and by this point it’s been established that there’s simply no way this character is Mexican or even from Mexico, or that the place she’s living in is in no way really Mexico. It’s a trope of Mexico, it’s a stereotype. Jeanine Cummins’ trip to the border for her “research” only solidified her idea of what she thinks Mexico is, and then proceeded to write a story she acknowledged she had no place in writing, but decided to anyway. After amassing a 7-figure upfront pay from her publisher, lying about threats that her publisher had now said were non-existent, cancelling her book tour as a PR ploy, and then almost immediately selling the film rights for an undisclosed amount, Jeanine Cummins has sold neo-Liberal white people on the same trope the latest Rambo flick espouses: Mexico is a sepia-toned cartel infested hell hole that needs saving by white people. Flatiron could have published such works by notable authors like Valeria Luiselli or Marcello Hernandez Castillo, but instead decided on the white granddaughter of a Puerto Rican. We know the grandmother is Puerto Rican because until recently Jeanine Cummins had gone on record to say she is, in fact, a white woman, but then to push the sale of her toilet paper she says is a book suddenly the lady has a token ethnic person in her family and magically identifies as “Latinx”. And the publisher hid the fact that they’re also publishing Oprah’s memoir, so now it’s just a full blown plot of a white woman writing a mediocre tale for an audience who will continue to view Mexico as a stereotypical nation needing saving by the white faux-woke saviors of America, published by a house working closely with Oprah who then placed it on her “prestigious” bookclub, and amassed so much cash for an undeserving novel. The author, in her own words, said that she is not an authority on the topic but decided that she was to be the voice of the voiceless all while drumming up the tired and racist dialogue of Donald Trump but in a neat package for her painfully white readers to digest. American Dirt is irresponsible and only further disenfranchises writers of color in an industry sorely lacking in equality and justice. In summary, “American Dirt” is the literary equivalent of that white couple at a Trump rally holding signs that read “BLACKS FOR TRUMP”.
  • Ridiculous story

    2
    By ur fake news
    Want my money back
  • Great work of fiction

    4
    By WelpThisWasAMistake
    People are just mad because this is a work of fiction and they don’t understand that fiction isn’t non-fiction. There are better works of fiction within the Latinx community though, which are written by other Latinx authors. If you do end up liking the book, I highly, highly, highly recommend that you look into other Latinx authors as well—Latinx authors are severely underestimated as fantastic writers, so don’t be that person! Read the book and form your own opinion; it’s a good read, far from the scope of typical American trauma porn perpetuated by other actual white authors regarding people of color. The more I read the comments about this book that are negative, the more I realize it’s a matter of people not wanting a woman to be successful and less about the race baiting arguments. Again, the book is fiction, it doesn’t start off by saying, “this is how it really is and everyone should treat it as such...” those people are just projecting their own internal racism onto the world around them. I say all of this as a non-toxic member of society who is a person of color, politically independent, male who read the book and didn’t take it personally. Be kind people.
  • Read it

    5
    By TSpaCarter
    If you’re on the fence, read it. Quickly became one of my ALL time top five. Inspired me to go read more books, written by latinx authors. I am aware that Jeannine is not Latin. Her writing is so utterly captivating. Incredible, eye opening, read.
  • American Dirt

    1
    By the disappointed worm
    Terrible, boring, stereotypical characters , Obviously written by someone without a clue. I’ve tried two of her other books and found the author is just not worth reading!
  • Relies on laughable tropes

    1
    By RamRios
    Badly written, and tropes that are just...tacky.