American Dirt

 By: Jeanine Cummins

Location: FIC CUM

Genre: Fiction, Historical, 

This book has caused such discussion in our office, who has the right to tell whose story? That has flowed over to our own stories in Aotearoa, who can tell the story of parihaka, who can tell the story of Aroamona?

As a blog on Goodreads so aptly says

"Would they say the same thing to Shakespeare, the greatest English-language writer of all time? After all, he was not a Danish prince, Italian teenagers, or Cleopatra. How dare he write about them?"

Yet despite thst discussion, this book has been in huge demand and it leaves our readers with a book filled anger of justice and a forever knowing...

Whoever tells the stort- it needs to be told!

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.


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