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American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel Hardcover – January 21, 2020

4.6 out of 5 stars 40,068 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of January 2020: Lydia Quixano Pérez runs a bookstore in Acapulco, Mexico, where she lives with her husband, Sebastián, who is a journalist, and their son, Luca. When a man starts visiting her store, buying books and striking up a friendship, she has no idea initially that he will be responsible for turning her life upside down. But Lydia and Luca will have to flee Acapulco, setting them on a journey they will share with countless other Central and South Americans-turned migrants. There is very little I can say about this novel that hasn't already been said, and it hasn't even been published yet. The buzz has been building early, and when it does go on sale it will likely be one of the most talked about (and widely read) books of the year. From the colossal opening chapter to the epilogue, American Dirt is a novel of crisp writing, urgent pacing, and remarkable empathy. It deserves the attention of a large audience. —Chris Schluep, Amazon Book Review

Review

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 VogueMarie ClaireReal SimpleElleEntertainment WeeklyWoman’s Day • Literary Hub • ParadeChicago TribuneThe Washington PostTimeFast CompanyForbesEsquireUSA 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.”
Oprah

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.”
Time

“Destined to be a classic.”
Woman’s Day

“Heartfelt and hopeful, American Dirt is a novel for our times. Thrilling, epic, and unforgettable….”
Esquire

“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.”
Vogue

“This one will tug at your heartstrings.”
Marie Claire

“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

“Pulse-pounding.”
Chicago Tribune

"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

“Propulsive.”
Elle

“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.”
John Grisham

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

“Relevant, powerful, extraordinary. It is a remarkable combination of joy and terror, infused always with the restorative power of a mother's love and the endless human capacity for hope. I hope everyone reads it and is as moved by it as I was.”
Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone

“Riveting, timely, a dazzling accomplishment. Jeanine Cummins makes us all LIVE and BREATHE the refugee story.”
Julia Alvarez, author of In the Time of the Butterflies

American Dirt is an extraordinary piece of work, a perfect balancing act with terror on one side and love on the other. I defy anyone to read the first seven pages of this book and not finish it. The prose is immaculate, and the story never lets up. This book will be an important voice in the discussion about immigration and los migrantes; it certainly puts the lie to the idea that we are being besieged by ‘bad hombres.’ On a micro scale―the story scale, where I like to live―it’s one hell of a novel about a good woman on the run with her beautiful boy. It’s marvelous.”
Stephen King

“From its heart-stopping first sentence to its heart-shattering last, Cummins’s story of immigrants is just what we need now. Gritty yet sensitive, realistic yet hopeful, grand and granular, American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins is a Grapes of Wrathfor our times.”
Don Winslow, author of the New York Times bestseller The Border

“The most gripping thriller you’ll read this side of Marathon Man. This thing goes harder than a Lee Child novel and the writing sings. Deserves to be a Gone Girl-level hit.”
Joe Hill, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman and Heart-Shaped Box

“Jeanine Cummins writes with such grace, compassion, and precision that I could not stop reading.”
Erika Sánchez, author of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

“This is a book that’s both hard to read and hard to put down and will no doubt spark a lot of conversation.”
Real Simple

“Time to sink into American Dirt.”
Entertainment Weekly

“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.”
Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

American Dirt is an urgent, blistering, unforgettable book. In her portrayal of Lydia and Luca, a mother and son forced to leave their Mexican home, Jeanine Cummins has given face to migrants everywhere who flee violence and near-certain death in search of only one thing: a chance at life. Beautifully written, thrilling in its propulsive force, American Dirt is a new American classic.”
Tara Conklin, author of the New York Times bestseller The Last Romantics

“The story of the migrant is the story of our times, and Jeanine Cummins is a worthy chronicler. At once intimate and epic, American Dirt is an exhilarating and beautiful book about parental love and human hope.”
Rumaan Alam, author of That Kind of Mother and Rich and Pretty

“Urgent and unforgettable, American Dirt leaps the borders of the page and demands attention, especially now.”
Sarah Blake, author of the New York Times bestsellers The Postmistress and The Guest Book

“A powerful, moving, and unforgettable read.”
Reyna Grande, author of The Distance Between Us

“This extraordinary novel about unbreakable determination will move the reader to the core.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Lydia and Luca are utterly believable characters, and their breathtaking journey moves with the velocity and power of one of those freight trains. Intensely suspenseful and deeply humane, this novel makes migrants seeking to cross the southern U.S. border indelibly individual.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

American Dirt may be the don’t-miss book of 2020.”
Booklist (starred review)

“Cummins is a skilled and empathetic chronicler of trauma and its aftermath…American Dirt is an immersive story, fueled by the elemental love of a mother for her son.”
Minnesota Star Tribune

“This gripping story of a mother and son on Mexico’s migrant trail combines humane intentions with propulsive, action-movie execution.”
The Guardian

“This is a book everyone should read.”
Woman & Home

“This powerful new novel promises readers a ride they’ll never forget.”
She Reads

Product details

  • Publisher : Flatiron Books; 1st edition (January 21, 2020)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 400 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1250209765
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1250209764
  • Item Weight : 1.3 pounds
  • Dimensions : 6.36 x 1.34 x 9.6 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 40,068 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
40,068 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on January 23, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on January 22, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on January 23, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on January 21, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on January 21, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

J. v. Kirchbach
3.0 out of 5 stars Just ok ...
Reviewed in Germany on February 17, 2020
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17 people found this helpful
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Len
5.0 out of 5 stars In "American Dirt," the émigré story is the focus and a pretty darn good read is the result.
Reviewed in Canada on April 11, 2020
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unicorngirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-researched
Reviewed in Canada on March 23, 2020
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diglo
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my taste
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 3, 2021
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Cartyan
5.0 out of 5 stars Life changing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 27, 2021
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