American Dirt

American Dirt

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?

Title:American Dirt
Edition Language:English
Format Type:

    American Dirt Reviews

  • David

    I DON'T READ THE COMMENTS [ANYMORE...clearly I was reading them early on, as you can see on the first few PAGES of comments]. You're free to talk amongst yourselves, however! [edit]For a deeper, nuanc...

  • Nilufer Ozmekik

    What a mind blowing beginning of a book! A mother, Lydia and her little boy, Luca hid themselves in the bathtub for not being other victims of family massacre. The contract killers/ most dangerous dru...

  • Felicia

    Ok seems like a bunch of privileged 'let me show you how woke I am' white people have decided they can speak for the Latin community. Surprise asshats, I am of Mexican and Native American blood. This ...

  • Myriam

    I wish I could give this book negative stars because it is, as its title attests, dirt. It is also profoundly racist. Here is my essay about the dissent surrounding this book, dissent that is being er...

  • Roxane


  • Nicky Nicholson-Klingerman

    horribly racist book abt mexico written by a white lady. sooooooooooooooooo tired of yts pretending like they understand. stop telling our stories through your horribly racist oppressive lenses. pleas...

  • Elyse  Walters

    YES...YES...YES!!! READ IT!That beginning is gripping!!! The most anticipated novel for 2020 - has the word controversy around it.I wasn’t even aware of the controversial issues until yesterday. As ...

  • mindful.librarian ??

    DNF the audiobook (free review copy from at 15% for various reasons including overly dramatic writing that doesn’t fit my reading preferences, major representation issues and perpetuation ...

  • Candi

    I doubt there is a single person here on Goodreads that has not heard at least a hint of the controversy surrounding this book. I’m also confident that nearly every reader has at least a basic idea ...

  • Anne Bogel

    UPDATE: I read this book in early fall 2019, before important critiques and interviews were published. Some commenters have helpfully linked those in comments so you can see some of what I'm referenci...