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American Dirt
American Dirt
Author: Jeanine Cummins
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 b...  more »
ISBN-13: 9781250209764
ISBN-10: 1250209765
Publication Date: 1/21/2020
Pages: 400
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 16 ratings
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Book Type: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 279
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed American Dirt on + 57 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
What. Is. This??

This book is controversial. I wanted to read it, to see for myself, to form my own opinion. The controversy behind this book is valid. If "eyes were opened" after reading this, as some reviewers on booksellers' websites have said, then those readers have not been paying proper attention to the world. For this book is so poor that if it is the one to open eyes, then help us please.

This book also does not depict a realistic story. I do not think a story of a well-to-do person on the run is the story that needs to be told. Perhaps the author thought that the only way to gain understanding of migrants by a middle-class US readership was to create a character that closely mirrors her readership. But she was wrong. As a middle-class US reader, all she did was make me mad. I do not want this underdeveloped soap opera of a book to help me better understand cultures and circumstances different from my own.

I am not advocating for illegal immigration. No. I am advocating for a book that better explores the human condition and better educates me on the lived experiences of others.

I had higher expectations of this one, given all the publicity, but it failed. I am sorely disappointed that I bought this book.

I much preferred Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions.
reviewed American Dirt on + 301 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Please be aware before you order or buy this book that it has been fiercely criticized by many American Latino authors and critics for harmful stereotypes of Mexicans, for having taken some scenes from other authors and for having received a huge publishers' advance when Latino authors who have more authentic stories grounded in their own experiences and observations struggle to feed themselves. Yes, it may be an exciting story but completely from the American white person's point of view. Personally, I found it inferior to the Mexican-produced telenovelas I sometimes watch.
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reviewed American Dirt on
This was an excellent book. Well written story of a woman and her son who have lost everything else to the drug cartel in Mexico making the crossing on La Bestia and with a coyote into the US to become illegal immigrants. It is loss and grief and love and hope. There was so much controversy about this book when it was published earlier this year by Latin Americans claiming that a Caucasian author could not write their experience but, albeit from the perspective of another Caucasian female, I thought this was a beautifully written book. Good story with great characters.
reviewed American Dirt on + 21 more book reviews
I know that there is a lot of bad talk about this book, and it honestly almost turned me off of reading it, which would have been a huge mistake. After listening to an interview with the author on the Barnes & Noble Podcast, I decided to try for it again, and it really is a beautiful story. Does this reflect what every Mexican experiences? Nope, not at all. Is this reflective of the migrant experience? Probably not at all. Could this story have happened to one single family in the history of Mexico? Yeah, probably. But you really need to remember - this isn't a documentary. This isn't a memoir. This is a FICTION book about a mom and her son trying to get to safety.

I encourage anyone to read the book for the story. Read Lydia & Luca's story. Of the life they had. The life they lost. How they survived. How they managed to go on with life and not just give up. Lydia wanted a better life for her son. If nothing else, THAT was a beautiful story. I found myself cheering them on, I cried with them, I became so overwhelmed with emotion, I had to stop reading for a while. But I went back because the story is amazing.

And the audio narration really brought it to life as well. The speech sounded authentic.

Book Wiki

Original Publication Date (YYYY-MM-DD)
Lydia (Primary Character)
Luca (Major Character)
Rebecca (Average Character)
Solidad (Average Character)