This is NOT a review of the book. I haven’t read it, and I don’t plan on doing so. This post is to inform you why.

For the past few months, I have seen this book around everywhere. I even thought it had already been published because of the way people have gone on and on about it. At first glance, I wasn’t interested. Even, dare I say, I was uncomfortable. But the hype got to me and I added it to my TBR.

Then I saw something in one of the facebook groups I am a part of that completely validated my original feelings toward this fictional novel. 

According to the book description, the story is about a mother and son that flee Mexico and head for the U.S. Yeah, okay. A book about immigration. That’s cool. The thing is, this white author received a seven figure advance for this story. Millions. For a poorly written book (according to a reviewer at the NYT). 

Look, I’m glad that this book seems to be bringing the immigration issue into the spotlight. What peeves me is that she is making millions off a story that has been written before by #ownvoices authors. If you ever needed proof that we are marginalized, here it is. This book is the proof. We shouldn’t need a gringa to sell a book about immigration. Yet, here we are. 

I am beyond upset. Surprised, no. Disillusioned, greatly so. It just reinforces my goal to only read books by people of color. Because this Latina está cansada. So fucking tired of all this bullshit. Tired of our voices being silenced. 

So, read the book. Don’t read the book. You do you! And if you want to read an #ownvoice book about immigration I have 3 recommendations for you to consider:

Enrique’s Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite With His Mother by Sonia Nazario

The original newspaper series won 2 Pulitzer’s. The book details the journey of a young Hondureño named Enrique as he travels north to the U.S. It is a long and dangerous journey. A harrowing read but one I would recommend.

The Book of Rosy: A Mother’s Story of Separation at the Border by Rosayra Pablo Cruz and Julie Schwietert Collazo

The expected publication is June.1.2020 and for some odd reason not getting the hype it so deserves. Hm, wonder why… Anyway, from the description, the book will detail Rosayra’s trek from Guatemala to the States. And will also cover the forced separation from her young daughter endured at a U.S. border detention center.

We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories From Refugee Girls Around the World by Malala Yousafzai

Analisa is one of the young girls featured in this book. She is Guatemalteca, and talks about how/why she fled her homeland for the U.S. All of the stories in the book are important and should be read. 

Now, there you have it. 3 books by 3 distinguished authors. A Pulitzer Prize winner, an advocate for immigrants, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Highly doubt any of them received such a huge sum of money for their books. Who knows, I could be wrong. But to loosely quote Ta-Nehisi Coates: for Americans to elect a black president, he had to be highly educated and have political experience. All Trump needed was white bluster. 

Let’s be real though. This book wasn’t written for me. It was written with the white gaze in mind. For the “color blind” readers. For the ones that only perpetuate the problem. Es obvio. She doesn’t care about the issue at hand. She’s exploiting it for her own personal gain. 

To Flatiron books, the publisher of this novel, come caca. And thank you for showing the world what we the oppressed already knew. 

Minority voices may not matter to you, but we will continue to scream at the top of our lungs until we are heard!


I also encourage you to read this post as well. The writer does a waaaay better job of explaining why the latinx community is up in arms…

6 thoughts on “American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

  1. I saw on twitter that the story is very similar to another’s writers book… interesting. So, not only did she copy, she also wrote a poorly written version and was paid a huge amount for it. Failing upwards on the backs of minorities, ugh. I’m becoming very distrustful of certain publishers.

    I saw a book blogger, after the controversy surrounding the book, flaunting it on twitter and I just straight up blocked her. People who are still reading American Dirt after the controversy have no respect for you or what you stand for.

    Did you also see her posing with her nail polish (barbed wire nail polish design) as if their sufferings are an aesthetic. Such a weirdo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is so much wrong with the book and with Jeanine Cummins and her publisher. Did you see the statement Flatirons put out about canceling the book tour? They made it seem like the Latinx community was vicious and making threats. Then when asked about it, they admitted that there were never any threats. Like… what?! How dare you! Ugh, I’m so over this book. And people are still praising it to the moon. The comments I’ve seen of people defending the book are just so upsetting and extremely hypocritical. I also unfollowed someone that was lauding the book without mentioning the controversy. I don’t need that kind of bs in my life lol.


  2. I think there is much more at stake here, that goes way beyond the fate of a book. In 1938 Mexican President Lazaro Cardenas did something unprescedented in the history of Mexico. He kicked foreign oil companies and foreign workers out of Mexico, created PEMEX and returned the oil wealth of Mexico back to the people of Mexico. The United States never forgave Mexico for this. I’m a bit surprised Cardenas was not assassinated. Since that year the elite have been planning to get their hands on Mexican oil once again. I have watched for the last 15 years the steady drumbeat towards an invasion of US troops in Mexico, just to “protect people” from the cartels, and “get things under control”. This plan was put on-hold when the former president (Pena Nieto)let foreign oil companies back into Mexico for the first time since 1938. But there’s a new boy in town, his name is AMLO, and he’s not having any of what his predecessor did. He is a good man, working for the forgotten people of Mexico, just as Cardenas did.

    What does this have to do with the book? Americans are an emotional bunch, not given to critical thinking. I have seen the fear propaganda about Mexico rise with each passing year. All it would take now is some incident to get the US to send troops into Mexico. American Dirt is absolute propaganda created to tug on the heartstrings of Americans…to soften them up to support “troops in Mexico to take out the cartels” oh, and meanwhile, take control of PEMEX. Why wouldn’t they do this, when this strategy has worked so well in the past in other contries? Everything surrounding this book is suspicious: the huge payment to the author; the fact that the movie rights to this book were sold BEFORE the book came out; all the hype; the Oprah book club selection. Oprah is the mouthpiece of the elite. She tells Americans what to think, and they often do whatever she pushes. I can’t rememeber another book that had such over-the-top PR. Now the elites (the Washinton Post and others) have jumped to the defense of the book. This dangerous book needs to be taken out. Boycott and keeps yelling until it is. The future of a free Mexico may depend on it.


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