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American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club): A…
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American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel (edição 2020)

por Jeanine Cummins (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,9251216,564 (4.12)126
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 cracks are beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, reasonably 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.… (mais)
Membro:thacher
Título:American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel
Autores:Jeanine Cummins (Autor)
Informação:Flatiron Books (2020), 400 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:February 2020, Fiction, Immigration, Mexican drug cartels

Pormenores da obra

American Dirt por Jeanine Cummins

  1. 00
    The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail por Oscar Martínez (aspirit)
    aspirit: Called "magnificent" by Cummins in an interview. Describes migrant experiences through Mexico from Central American to the USA, by a journalist who traveled with them.
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Inglês (117)  Alemão (2)  Francês (1)  Todas as línguas (120)
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I loved American Dirt when I read it several months ago, but I did not reread it for this discussion so the details are a bit hazy. I also didn't know about the controversy surrounding the book when I read it.

Perhaps the author is guilty of cultural appropriation, but she certainly told the story in a way that made the plight and the tribulations of these migrants very real to me. I feared for them, cried with them, and cheered them on through their entire ordeal. The fact that the primary character, Lydia, and her son were middle-class and innocent perhaps was designed to make average Americans like me more able to identify with them.

Another criticism of the author that I've read is that she portrayed Mexicans as taking advantage of and preying on the migrants, but the Americans in her book weren't much better in their treatment of migrants. "There were good people on both sides" to quote someone whom I would not usually consider quotable. ( )
  NMBookClub | Sep 18, 2021 |
American Dirt is a fascinating but hard to categorize book. Billed by some as a thriller, it’s very much a human drama. The author tells the fictional story of a mother and her son fleeing Acapulco for the United States after the rest of their family is murdered by a cartel. While this is technically fiction, many of the stories are based on the real plight of migrants seeking to enter the U.S. I’d advise reading it with an open mind, regardless of your personal political beliefs—this book will give you a fresh, human perspective of the challenges of migrants and what motivates them to risk their lives to try and enter the United States.


This book is very well written with a fast pace that grabs you right from the start and keeps you turning the page throughout. The last 1/3 is especially hard to put down. At times it’s gutting, tender, infuriating, provocative, and heartwarming.
( )
  bentleymitchell | Aug 27, 2021 |
This is a remarkable novel of love, grit, determination, and necessity. When Lydia's entire family, except herself and her 8 year old son, Luca, are killed by a Mexican cartel due to an article her journalist husband, Sebastian, wrote, Lydia knows they must flee Acapulco. She quickly gathers a few belongings for them and makes plans to flee the city and head north to the US.
As they journey, they meet various people, some kind and willing to help, and others who are cruel and untrustworthy. Lydia is cautiously aware that the cartel has eyes everywhere. Two of the migrants are Soledad and Rebeca, teenagers from Honduras. The girls have seen too much in their young lives and together with Lydia and Luca, they form a family.
I was emotionally touched several times reading of the dangers people experience and try to escape. This is a beautiful novel. Highly recommend! ( )
  rmarcin | Aug 15, 2021 |
I have to say that I liked this book, because while the story has been told before, author Cummins develops many strong characters, especially the orphan boy from La Dumpe. Mother Lydia and her 8-year old son, Luca, are the sole survivors when a Mexican drug lord slaughters the rest of their extended family at a party for a 15-year old relative, retribution for their journalist husband/father. They go on the run, heading north to the U.S., without a sensible plan but with a lot of resolve and heartache. Along the way, they meet a pair of beautiful teenage sisters from Central America, fleeing their own gang-related problems, and Luca develops a crush on the younger sister. The sisters teach them how to ride the Beast, and together, they experience treachery as well as unexpected kindness from strangers. 4.5 stars. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
suspense/drama - Mexican woman terrorized by Acapulco drug cartel (author is not from Latinx culture).

I listened to this for over an hour and a half (about 9% of the book); there is a lot of sensationalized violence and it felt like Lydia and her family were victims in a thriller movie, rather than actual people. Even apart from the author not sharing the cultural background, I had hoped for at least a well-researched, humanizing story that provides some perspective, and this is just not that kind of serious fiction. Moving on to something else now. ( )
1 vote reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
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I am an immigrant. My family fled El Salvador with death pounding on our door. The terror, the loss, the injustice of this experience shaped everything about me. I see no part of myself reflected in American Dirt, a book white critics are hailing as the great immigrant novel.
 
Let me be clear: because American Dirt contains multiple inaccuracies and distortions, the White US readership in particular will come away with a stylized understanding of the issues from a melodramatic bit of literary pulp that frankly appears to have been drafted with their tastes in mind (rather than the authentic voices of Mexicanas and Chicanas).

Ah, and there’s the rub. White folks and other non-Mexican Americans in the US: you CANNOT judge for yourselves whether American Dirt is authentic. You’re going to have to trust Mexicans and Chicanx folks. I know that runs counter to the upbringing of so many. I know it defies our national discourse.

Pero ni modo. That’s too bad.
adicionada por kidzdoc | editarMedium, David Bowles (Jan 18, 2020)
 
Cummins has put in the research, as she describes in her afterword, and the scenes on La Bestia are vividly conjured. Still, the book feels conspicuously like the work of an outsider. The writer has a strange, excited fascination in commenting on gradients of brown skin: Characters are “berry-brown” or “tan as childhood” (no, I don’t know what that means either). In one scene, the sisters embrace and console each other: “Rebeca breathes deeply into Soledad’s neck, and her tears wet the soft brown curve of her sister’s skin.” In all my years of hugging my own sister, I don’t think I’ve ever thought, “Here I am, hugging your brown neck.” Am I missing out?

The real failures of the book, however, have little to do with the writer’s identity and everything to do with her abilities as a novelist.

What thin creations these characters are — and how distorted they are by the stilted prose and characterizations. The heroes grow only more heroic, the villains more villainous. The children sound like tiny prophets. Occasionally there’s a flare of deeper, more subtle characterization, the way Luca, for example, experiences “an uncomfortable feeling of both thrill and dread” when he finally lays eyes on the other side of the border, or how, in the middle of the terror of escape, Lydia will still notice that her son needs a haircut.

But does the book’s shallowness paradoxically explain the excitement surrounding it? The tortured sentences aside, “American Dirt” is enviably easy to read. It is determinedly apolitical. The deep roots of these forced migrations are never interrogated; the American reader can read without fear of uncomfortable self-reproach. It asks only for us to accept that “these people are people,” while giving us the saintly to root for and the barbarous to deplore — and then congratulating us for caring.
adicionada por kidzdoc | editarThe New York Times, Parul Sehgal (Jan 17, 2020)
 
A self-professed gabacha, Jeanine Cummins, wrote a book that sucks. Big time.

Her obra de caca belongs to the great American tradition of doing the following:

1. Appropriating genius works by people of color

2. Slapping a coat of mayonesa on them to make palatable to taste buds estados-unidenses and

3. Repackaging them for mass racially “colorblind” consumption.

Rather than look us in the eye, many gabachos prefer to look down their noses at us. Rather than face that we are their moral and intellectual equals, they happily pity us. Pity is what inspires their sweet tooth for Mexican pain, a craving many of them hide. This denial motivates their spending habits, resulting in a preference for trauma porn that wears a social justice fig leaf. To satisfy this demand, Cummins tossed together American Dirt, a “road thriller” that wears an I’m-giving-a-voice-to-the-voiceless-masses merkin.
adicionada por kidzdoc | editarTropics of Meta, Myriam Gurba (Dec 12, 2019)
 
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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 cracks are beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, reasonably 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.

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