American Dirt

American Dirt

Book - 2020 | First U.S. edition
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"También de este lado hay sueños. On this side too there are dreams. 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
Edition: First U.S. edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781250209764
1250209765
Characteristics: 386 pages : map ; 25 cm

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SPSit
Feb 28, 2020

This is a story that really engages you; you are in the journey with the two characters and hoping that they will survive. Those who love this story should also read John Vaillant's The Jaguar's children.

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cammpuff
Feb 23, 2020

There is a reason why there is so much buzz about the book. Both positive and negative. We have to remember that this is a fiction and the author has every right to visualize her characters. Whether or not the details are realistic or minutely accurate, that is for the reader to decide if a book is worth reading. Here are my + and -
+gripping, page turner, suspense all the way to the end
+i can see how the author can easily make a sequel to this book
-the third person narration did not give the same impact if it were a first person voice. You have multiple characters all sharing their perspective within a paragraph. Sometimes one sentence after the other. And this gave me a little bit of confusion. I understand, however, how the author wanted to blend the voices as the story progresses.

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mariacfrancis7
Feb 22, 2020

Anyone and everyone should read American Dirt as a starting point, regardless of whether you are an immigrant, a naturalized citizen or US-born. Regardless of your political affiliation. Regardless of your stand on border crossing. I really appreciate the author not making political jabs or preach what is morally right. This book only discusses the heart-wrenching and unadulterated agony of living, breathing human beings just like any one of us, unfairly undergoing the treacherous journey as an undocumented migrant trying to reach the United States with nothing but fear and hope for a better life on the other side.

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laphampeak
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.

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CTschritter
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

https://tropicsofmeta.com/2019/12/12/pendeja-you-aint-steinbeck-my-bronca-with-fake-ass-social-justice-literature/amp/

https://gay.medium.com/amp/p/a5623c5ada0e

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cals_shelby
Feb 12, 2020

Maybe just skip this one for some accurate information about Mexico instead: https://cals.bibliocommons.com/list/share/1014242697/1570242669

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Cas22
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.

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AnnieFofa
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.

s
star2014
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.

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