American Dirt

American Dirt

A Novel

eBook - 2020
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"También de este lado hay sueños. 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? American Dirt will leave readers utterly changed when they finish reading it. A page-turner filled with poignancy, drama, and humanity on every page, it is a literary achievement."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Flatiron Books, 2020
ISBN: 9781250209771
1250209773
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file

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k
kwsmith
Mar 29, 2020

This is a dramatic story about a highly educated migrant mother's chaotic journey from Mexico to the USA with her prodigy wonder child in tow. This is an entertaining and entirely fictional tale based on the author's personal research rather than any direct experience with illegal immigration. It's a suspenseful read that should appeal to most thriller fans. If you're looking for a realistic depiction of the immigrant experience, you probably won't find it here. But if you're looking for a good story, this one delivers.

JCLColleenO Mar 26, 2020

Very powerful-I'd recommend this to every adult, & would be great required reading for high school students

s
squirrelee
Mar 21, 2020

I wasn't aware of any controversy when I decided to read this book, but found out about it when I was almost finished with it. Remember, this book is FICTION.The author admits that she may not have gotten everything right in her Author's notes. But it does sound like she did quite a bit of research and has some personal experience with immigration. That said, I found this book to be beautifully written and authentic. In these times, it's good to be reminded of the strength in the human spirit.

m
maipenrai
Mar 18, 2020

Latino critics say "American Dirt″ contains stereotypes, incorrect regional slang, and cultural inaccuracies. I choose to honor the Latino protest against this book and will not read it. Kristi & Abby Tabby

w
wendygleich
Mar 12, 2020

Still in progress but very interesting to read. Remembering that this is a Novel (fiction) and Not based on any facts.

c
Calibro
Mar 10, 2020

I was partly drawn to read American Dirt because of all the bad press the author has gotten. I wanted to read for myself what the big deal is. I didn't find anything offensive in the story or by whom it is told.

Watching some YouTube videos of "La Bestia" and looking at the train's route on Google maps helped with visuals that really brought the story to life for me. It is a gripping page turner. At times melodramatic and overwritten, and at some points funny.
I thought of the optician's sign in 'The Great Gatsby' during one particular passage about a pair of glasses painted on a wall, though these glasses are an ominous sign, not the idea of God's eyes passing judgment, as in TGG.

Ultimately, American Dirt is a story of loss, heartache and of passing from one life to another, truly a journey.

c
CharlottePitts
Mar 08, 2020

It is probably true that the journey northward for many migrants leaving the horror of their own country is awful, but this is classic soap opera! Don't waste your time or your sensibilities.

d
dontbugmeimreading
Mar 05, 2020

It started off with a bang but it wasn't as edge-of-your-seat exciting as the reviews would have you believe. Still, it made me think about all the migrants making their way to the border and how each one of them could have a story like this.

r
Ritzen4
Mar 03, 2020

I enjoyed reading this book about Lydia and her son Luca fleeing the injustice and control/brutality of the drug cartel in Acapulco and heading to el Norte (USA) on La Bestia (train) for freedom. The love of a mother for her son and desire to survive after her husband's editorial exposing the cartel king pin, La Lechuza, causes all of her family to be gunned down at her nieces quinceaniera (except herself and her son who managed to hide). The story depicts their trip, those they meet along the way, and the hardships they encounter in their flight to the border and pulls you in quickly. I am sure it is a tamed down version of what actually occurs to many who attempt this journey, but it gives a good overview of the deep desire for freedom and the dangers, costs,hard decisions and danger one is willing to endure for the chance of a better life.

The downside, which I didn't discover until the editor's note in the back of the book (this is what caused me to drop my review to 3 stars) is the fact that the author is quite white, just recently embraced her Puerto Rican grandmother's heritage, and has never lived in Mexico or had personal exposure through family or friends to the plight of immigrants from Mexico to the US. Plus, she reviewed the works of Latin authors who had much deeper connections, if not experiences with the culture and experiences themselves, to assist her in the writing of her book. Having been born and raised in Central America, this left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth about how "Americanized" this story most likely is.

c
cknightkc
Mar 03, 2020

AMERICAN DIRT is a work of fiction that kept me riveted from the first page to the last. It’s raw and emotional, a real page-turner with themes of love, loss, fear, courage, and hope. The controversy surrounding this book and its author, Jeanine Cummins, has been widely reported. But to me, anything that challenges assumptions and prompts further discussion around the topics of race, culture, privilege, and the ongoing migrant crisis is worthwhile. Still, I plan to explore titles recommended by Cummins’ critics, like Valeria Luiselli’s LOST CHILDREN ARCHIVE, Ingrid Rojas Contreras’ FRUIT OF THE DRUNKEN TREE, or Luis Alberto Urrea’s THE DEVIL’S HIGHWAY. Reading is, after all, an ongoing education.

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c
cknightkc
Mar 03, 2020

“There’s a wonderful piece of graffiti on the border wall in Tijuana…. TAMBIÉN DE ESTE LADO HAY SUEÑOS. On this side, too, there are dreams.” - Author’s Note p. 383

c
cknightkc
Mar 03, 2020

“That these people would leave their homes, their cultures, their families, even their languages, and venture into tremendous peril, risking their very lives, all for the chance to get to the dream of some faraway country that doesn’t even want them.” - p. 94

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