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American Dirt

American Dirt

Downloadable Audiobook - 2020 | Unabridged.
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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.
Publisher: New York, NY : Macmillan Audiobook, 2020.
Edition: Unabridged.
ISBN: 9781250260604
Branch Call Number: E-AUDIO
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 audio file (16:43:57))
1 online resource (16 audio files (16:47:56))
digital, rdatr
audio file, rdaft


From the critics

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Mar 24, 2021

There is a lot to enjoy about this story including intrigue, learning about the migrant journey up through Mexico to the US, the importance of family and the urge we have to survive, and more.

The ending was a little less than satisfying for me, but that was OK. The journey was worth it.

Nov 20, 2020

Want the book not audio

Oct 16, 2020

This is an excellent read! Cummins is a great story teller. It's full of rich detail and delightful suspense. It engenders empathy because you find it easy to put yourself in the shoes of the main character.
Ignore the overblown controversy. The writer has an immigrant spouse, has personally experienced the effects of violence, and spent five years gathering research before writing this novel. However, she needn't have any such credentials at all! It's a novel. It's not a documentary, it's a fictional story. To expect every author to have lived the same life as their fictional character is ludicrous. Would you say an author who wrote a story about an Irish bank robber in the 1800's was out of line because he is neither Irish, nor a bank robber, nor long dead? No, of course not.
Read this for the good story and the story telling prowess. You'll enjoy it.

May 26, 2020

This book starts out with a bang, literally, but then carries readers on a less and less believable journey. I totally get why Latino writers are annoyed that a white woman gets to tell the story of migrants fleeing gang violence in Latin America while Latino writers can't get the time of day from major publishers.

A decent read, but not as interesting as the controversy surrounding it.

ArapahoeMaryA Mar 25, 2020

This controversial Contemporary Fiction is both compelling and thought-provoking. Because reader reviews are so polarized on this book, this author, and this topic (immigration), it is sure to generate lively conversation and debate.

Jan 22, 2020

A book about Mexican migrants by someone who has no experience with the people or experiences. This book shouldn't have been greenlit for this writer. The publisher should've let someone with the right background write it instead of making more room for another white writer.


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ArapahoeMaryA Mar 25, 2020

As Rebeca reveals what scraps of story she does have to Luca, he starts to understand that this is the one thing all migrants have in common, this is the solidarity that exists among them, though they all come from different places and different circumstances, some urban, some rural, some middle-class, some poor, some well educated, some illiterate, Salvadoran, Honduran, Guatemalan, Mexican, Indian, each of them carries some story of suffering on top of that train and into el norte beyond. Some, like Rebeca, share their stories carefully, selectively, finding a faithful ear and then chanting their words like prayers. Other migrants are like blown-open grenades, telling their anguish compulsively to everyone they meet, dispensing their pain like shrapnel so they might one day wake to find their burdens have grown lighter. Luca wonders what it would feel like to blow up like that. But for now he remains undetonated, his horrors sealed tightly inside, his pin fixed snugly in place.

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