English · Paperback / Softback
#1 New York Times Bestseller
OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB PICK
"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."
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 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.
About the author
Jeanine Cummins is the author of three books: the novels The Outside Boy and The Crooked Branch, and the bestselling memoir A Rip in Heaven. She lives in New York with her husband and two children.
Editors' Choice from The New York Times Book Review
#1 Indie Next Pick for February
January 2020 Library Reads Pick
A Most-Anticipated Book of the Season/Year: The New York Times - O, The Oprah Magazine - Vogue - Marie Claire - Real Simple - Elle - Entertainment Weekly - Woman's Day - Literary Hub - Parade - Chicago Tribune - The Washington Post - Time - Fast Company - Forbes - Esquire - USA Today - PopSugar - Bustle - The New York Times Book Review
"American Dirt just gutted me, and I didn't just read this book-I inhabited it....Everything about this book was so extraordinary. It's suspenseful, the language is beautiful, and the story really opened my heart. I highly recommend it, and you will not want to put it down. It is just a magnificent novel."
"American Dirt is a literary novel with nuanced character development and arresting language; yet, its narrative hurtles forward with the intensity of a suspense tale. Its most profound achievement, though, is something I never could've been told...American Dirt is the novel that, for me, nails what it's like to live in this age of anxiety, where it feels like anything can happen, at any moment."
-Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air
"This tense, illuminating novel takes off like a rocket..."
-People (Book of the Week)
"This novel is a heart-stopping story of survival, danger, and love..."
-The New York Times
"I devoured the novel in a dry-eyed adrenaline rush....A profoundly moving reading experience."
-The Washington Post
"A heart-pounding, page-turning, can't-put-it-down, stay-up-till-3 a.m., adrenaline-pumping story...that examines, with sensitivity, care, and complexity of thought, immense, soul-obliterating trauma and its aftermath."
-Los Angeles Times
"The story is masterfully composed of timeless elements: the nightmare logic of grief, the value of human kindness, the power of love to drive us to do the unimaginable...Cummins proves that fiction can be a vehicle for expanding our empathy."
"Destined to be a classic."
"Heartfelt and hopeful, American Dirt is a novel for our times. Thrilling, epic, and unforgettable...."
"Stunning...remarkable....A novel as of the zeitgeist as any, American Dirt is also an account of love on the run that will never lose steam."
"This one will tug at your heartstrings."
"The very best novel I've read about immigrants (and the best novel I've read over the past year)....American Dirt is being compared to The Grapes of Wrath, and the comparison is apt."
-San Francisco Chronicle
"As literature, American Dirt is modern realism at its finest: a tale of moral challenge in the spirit of Theodore Dreiser wrapped inside a big-hearted social epic like The Grapes of Wrath. American Dirt is going to be the defining book of 2020."
-New York Journal of Books
"I strive to write page-turners because I love to read them, and it's been a long time since I turned pages as fast as I did with American Dirt. Its plot is tight, smart, and unpredictable. Its message is important and timely, but not political. Its characters are violent, compassionate, sadistic, fragile, and heroic. It is rich in authenticity. Its journey is a testament to the power of fear and hope and belief that there are more good people than bad."
"American Dirt is both a moral compass and a riveting read. I couldn't put it down. I'll never stop thinking about it."
-Ann Patchett, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Dutch House and Commonwealth
"Why do we read fiction? By immersing ourselves in the lives of fictional characters we gain emotional depth, breadth, and empathy. We become more human. I have never felt more changed-or challenged-by a book than I have by American Dirt. It's truly a revelation."
-Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Summer of '69
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