American Dirt book pdf download for free or read online, also American Dirt pdf was written by Jeanine Cummins.
Jeanine Cummins (born December 6, 1974) is an American author of Irish and Puerto Rican descent. She has written four books: a memoir entitled A Rip in Heaven and three novels, The Outside Boy, The Crooked Branch and American Dirt.
Cummins was born in Rota, Spain, where his father, Gene, was stationed in the US Navy and his mother, Kay, was a registered nurse. Cummins grew up in Gaithersburg, Maryland and attended Towson University, where she majored in the English and Communications. In year 1993 Cummins was a finalist in the Rose of Tralee Festival, an international event celebrated by Irish communities around the world; At every festival in Tralee, Ireland, a woman is crowned a rose.
After college, she worked as a waitress in Belfast, Northern Ireland for two years before returning to the United States in year 1997 and starting to work at the Penguin in New York City. She worked in the publishing industry for the 10 years.
Her 2004 memoir, A Rip in Heaven, focuses on the attempted murder of her brother Tom and the murders of two of her cousins on the Chain of Rocks Bridge in St. Louis, Missouri when Cummins was 16 . She turned down offers for film rights to the book.
Her next two books were novels exploring Irish history. The Outside Boy is about the Pavee Travelers. The Crooked Branch is about the great famine in Ireland.
Jeanine Cummins identifies as White and Latina. In a December year 2015 New York Times op-ed about the murder of her cousins, she mentions her Puerto Rican grandmother, but also says, “I’m white… and practically my family is mostly white.” Cummins looked down after the publication of his Romans American Dirt faces public scrutiny for cultural appropriation.
In a 2020 interview with Shelf Awareness after the book’s publication, she explained, “At first I was hesitant to write from the perspective of a Mexican migrant because no matter how much research I did, despite the fact that I’m Latinx, I felt does not qualify me to write in that voice. Because that’s not my life experience.”
In a bookstore talk about American Dirt, published by The Washington Post, she admitted that she had been “a beneficiary of white privilege,” but explained that as a writer, she hoped to “have a writing a novel that would bridge the gap.” She has been criticized by some Latinx writers for “changing her name” after the publication of the book Latinx, despite the fact that her husband, an Irish immigrant, was undocumented in the US for the 10 years lived, she was also criticized by those who said the similarities between her immigration experience and that of most Mexican immigrants were minute.
She has two daughters and is an adoptive mother. Her cousin Julie inspired her to write.
American Dirt Book PDF download for free
Lydia lives in Acapulco. She has a son named, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while Acapulco is beginning to show cracks because of the cartels, Lydia’s life is, on the whole, quite comfortable. But after her husband’s revealing profile on the new drug lord was released, none of their lives will ever be the same.
Lydia and Luca are forced to flee and join the countless people trying to get to the United States. Lydia soon sees that everyone is running away from something. But what are they actually running for?
American Dirt Book Pdf Download
I have read the book. First the good and then the less good, followed by a comment on current social criticism:
It’s a gripping story about a woman and her son traveling through Mexico. On their way they face violence, beatings, robberies and other dangers. A friend is raped and they watch a man get killed by the train. They also experience compassionate people helping them on their way.
They traverse a wide variety of landscapes and cultures, and while that’s not the point of the story, you get the sense that the part of Mexico they traverse is incredibly diverse in terms of climate, cultures, attitudes, etc. It’s a bit like a saga, and despite my reservations, I was hooked on the book.
The author is brilliant at turning thoughts and moments into rich and catchy little statements. I kept a running list of page numbers on the front page and have since gone back and reread those passages. Maybe it’s just me, but some of those one-liners and short paragraphs are philosophical statements that really touch me. They really intersect with my life and struggles in exile. And that could (should) have been the main theme of the book. More on that below.
All good things aside, the author isn’t Steinbeck. The characters in the story were flat, one-dimensional at times. They behaved predictably and thoughtlessly, as if getting them through the journey was the author’s primary motivation. He wanted to see the son’s character developed. The story begins with an absolutely brilliant scene where he pees in the bathroom while bullets are flying outside. That first page is fascinating.
After that first chapter, we never get a glimpse of his thoughts again. Instead, we hear mostly from the mother. He makes cautious decisions most of the time, but randomly does downright stupid things. Of course people do this all the time in real life, but the author didn’t integrate those parts of the character and it came out inconsistently, almost like they were two different characters written at different times and copied/pasted into one. Story. His fellow passengers are even less developed.
My least favorite companion was the enemy companion who might have been a cartel spy, might not have been a cartel spy the whole trip. The big reveal at the end was just cartoonish. I didn’t find that appealing and it served no real narrative purpose. He could have been left out of the story and that would have made the book better. Once again, this part of the book felt like it was written by someone else and left out of this book for some reason. All wrong.
The other big break for me was the author’s description of how the main character came to terms with immigrant status. The mother tells the reader that she is pretending to be a migrant to escape from her pursuers. She’s not really one of “them”. At some point she realizes that she is no longer a costume, but has actually become a migrant. This could be an interesting plot device to convey something about what it feels like when your identity changes, and I was on the edge of my seat to see where the author would take that.
But she brought him absolutely NOWHERE! It could have been profound way to open up the exploration of a larger human experience. Identity changes are painful and I suspect all migrants struggle with them. Additionally, many people who never migrate struggle with identity changes. While the author seemed to hover around this theme at times, she failed to connect it to the events of the story throughout the book. It’s a missed opportunity.
As I said, I read the book and I read it carefully. My conclusion is that as fiction this is a mixed bag. It could have been much richer, with more emphasis on the inwardness of his characters. Above all, the author needs a better editor. The publisher really let them down in that regard. Her publisher also failed her (and caused much trauma among Latinos) by falsely promoting this book as a genuine insight into migration.
And that brings me to the other half: the emerging social critique of the novel, the author, and the publishing world. I have read many reviews of this book, mostly from Latinos, online, in print, and on Twitter. In fact, I put the book down about halfway through and read all the reviews I could find. Then I turned back to the book with fresh eyes. Some of these reviews changed the way I experienced the book. Others missed the target.
Too many, including a lengthy article in New York City, simply repeated what another commenter had said. Many people are upset that the author is trying to tell “his story”. The author is very direct about being an outsider and having created a work of fiction. Not for a moment did I think he was telling a true story about migrants crossing Mexico or that he was trying to speak for another group. I doubt an ordinary reader would think so. Popular novel readers really understand that novels are not documentaries.
Some people are upset that an author of Puerto Rican descent has received a hefty payment for writing a novel about a migration across Mexico. This is the highest form of pettiness. I agree that those who write first-hand accounts of their own actual migration have not received the attention and income they deserve. They should get MUCH more exposure and revenue. However, public attention and book revenue are not finite resources.
Anyone can have more if the readership wants it and the publishers push it. Fight for what you can change, but don’t personally and viciously attack another author. This is unacceptable, ugly and ineffective. If Jeanine Cummins died tomorrow, none of these other writers would be making any more money.
A lot of people have labeled this porn book as traumatic. This seems pointless to me as most of the fiction is trauma porn. Cormack McCarthy’s The Road – Well, that’s a book that could be described as traumatic porn. It was also more successful at exploring how exile intersects with the human spirit and was a better read, but that’s a bit off topic.
American Dirt is a novel. Nobody should have to explain that novels are fantasy. To write a novel, an author must “imagine” what a setting might look like. To say that any novel is “inaccurate” is more than nonsense and shows that one’s goals for social change are too low. In the end, I have to wonder if many commentators here and elsewhere actually read the book.
I suspect many don’t. My advice: if we parrot another review we read online or on Twitter, we take responsibility for that other person’s review. If that other person is wrong, or too angry to be fair, or just plain lying, we end up looking like idiots to people who read the book. If you’ve read this far and decided that I’m an overly privileged white man who hasn’t woken up, I’m a progressive activist and I despise Trump, the neocons and the wall.
I actively reject any form of oppression in my real everyday life and work against it. I shouldn’t have to say this in a book review, but in our current climate some will immediately reduce me and others to an imprecise phrase and end up stabbing their own allies in the back the moment they utter a new thought. As we gouge each other out, the real enemies rage on.
Perhaps another bright spot: this book made me want to read some first-hand accounts of real immigrants.
Another negative: I think I’ll wait a while longer. I’m a bit exhausted from all this poison and need a break from this topic.
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