For me, the book that's stuck with me through this entire roller coaster of a year is American Dirt. Ann Patchett's review was simple, to the point, and, for me, spot on: I'll never stop thinking about it. I was enthralled, engulfed, enraged by this book from the first sentence, and I remember the reading experience like it was yesterday. I would want to rush through the sentences to get to the next section -- but then an image, a description, a scene would grab me by the throat and I'd have to stop. And savor. And think, And, more than once, cry. This tale of a woman on the run reads like the best edge-of-your-seat thrillers; fast-paced with a truly memorable villain. This story of a mother's love and desperation breaks your heart in the best possible way -- and then heals it again, stronger in the broken places (a'la Hemingway). This novel's depiction of a gut-wrenching journey to America acts as a cultural flashpoint, sparking difficult thoughts and conversations for readers and industry professionals alike. I love this book. It's a book that I'd very much like the chance to read for the first time one more time.— Laura Pennock Vice President, Distribution & Adult Mass Merch Sales, Macmillan
“American Dirt is a beautiful, heartbreaking odyssey, a vivid world filled with angels and demons, one I only wanted to leave so I could get my heart out of my throat. Cartel violence sends a mother and her son careening north from Acapulco toward the relative safety of the United States, and every moment of their journey is rendered in frantic, sublime detail. Danger lurks around the corner of every paragraph, but so does humanity, empathy, and stunning acts of human kindness. You will feel the toll of every mile, the cost of every bullet, and the power of every page. A wonder.”
— Thatcher Svekis, DIESEL, A Bookstore, Santa Monica, CA
"This book is not simply the great American novel; it's the great novel of las Americas. It's the great world novel This is the international story of our times. Masterful."
Tambi n de este lado hay sue os. On this side too, there are dreams.
Lydia Quixano P rez 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 a few 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. It is a literary achievement filled with poignancy, drama, and humanity on every page. It is one of the most important books for our times.
Already being hailed as "a Grapes of Wrath for our times" and "a new American classic," Jeanine Cummins's American Dirt is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope.