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

di Jeanine Cummins (Autore)

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiCitazioni
1,4861039,030 (4.12)109
"También de este lado hay sueños. 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 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 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. 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 when they finish reading it. A page-turner filled with poignancy, drama, and humanity on every page, it is a literary achievement."--… (altro)
Utente:CMSharkey
Titolo:American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel
Autori:Jeanine Cummins (Autore)
Info:Flatiron Books (2020), Edition: 1st, 400 pages
Collezioni:La tua biblioteca
Voto:****
Etichette:Nessuno

Informazioni sull'opera

American Dirt di Jeanine Cummins

  1. 00
    The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail di 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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Most of the novel concerns a very long journey on top of a train - among other modes of transportation - from Acapulco, Mexico to America. The main characters are Lydia Perez and her eight-year-old son Luca, who are on the run from a drug cartel. The cartel, run by a man named Javier, massacred her entire family, and will kill them too if he can find them. Thus Lydia is desperate to get to America to safety. But the way is perilous.

Along the way they are joined by other migrants, all of whom are desperate to escape, although each has different reasons.

If I were to describe this book in one word, it would be “adrenaline.” Close seconds were "minatory" or "foreboding." The book reminded me of the adventure serials (like Flash Gordon) that were popular on television in the 1950s in which every episode ended with the hero or heroine in a difficult or seemingly impossible predicament that he or she would escape at the beginning of the next episode. Many if not most of the chapters of the book ended that way. It is the sign of a well-crafted plot that Cummins maintained the tension of Lydia's fear of discovery throughout the book.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

(JAB) ( )
  nbmars | Mar 3, 2021 |
Some parts of this book were really well written. But most, for me, seemed to just drag on and on with a similar theme and not much development. I was hooked in the beginning, nearly gave up for most of the middle, and was somewhat interested again toward the end. I did get a new appreciation of the migrant journey, but had to remind myself this wasn't a memoir. Overall, I was disappointed and would not recommend. ( )
  sbenne3 | Mar 2, 2021 |
I really liked this book. Am I supposed to feel bad about that? ( )
  katelindsey | Feb 27, 2021 |
Pandemic read. Chilling. Informative. Stunning. ( )
  bookczuk | Feb 21, 2021 |
Lydia lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Lucas, whom she adores and a husband who is a journalist. She stocks some of her unique favorite books in her store. When Javier chooses a couple of her favorites, they develop a friendship involving books. Lydia doesn’t know that Javier is the head of the latest drug cartel in her city. When her husband writes an expose about Javier, it changes their world forever. Lydia’s entire family is murdered and she knows that she and Lucas must leave immediately to survive. They find themselves in a desperate trek to America where Javier can’t reach them. ( )
  creighley | Feb 17, 2021 |
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.
aggiunto da kidzdoc | modificaMedium, 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.
 
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.
aggiunto da kidzdoc | modificaTropics of Meta, Myriam Gurba (Dec 12, 2019)
 
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Era la sed y el hambre, y tu fuiste la fruta.

Era el dueloy las ruinas, y tu fuiste el milagro.

There were thirst and hunger, and you were the fruit.

There were grief and ruins, and you were the miracle.


----------------------------------------Pablo Neruda, "The Song of Despair"
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One of the very first bullets comes in through the open window above the toilet where Luca is standing.
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"También de este lado hay sueños. 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 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 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. 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 when they finish reading it. A page-turner filled with poignancy, drama, and humanity on every page, it is a literary achievement."--

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