American Dirt is the first novel of its kind – one that explores the experience of illegally crossing the US-Mexico Border, including the perilous journey on top of the freight trains known as la bestia, which thousands of migrants make each year. As always, we have 50 copies up for grabs and an opportunity to ask Jeanine your questions.
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.
But that was yesterday. Today, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca have been forced to flee, quickly finding 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 the cartel’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 you utterly changed when you finish reading it. It is a page-turner, it is a literary achievement, it is filled with poignancy, drama, and humanity on every page. It is one of the most important books for our times. Vivid, visceral, utterly compelling, this is a work of fiction inspired by a truth that demands, urgently, to be told: one unique, personal, unforgettable story to honour the hundreds of stories we may never get to hear.
Praise for American Dirt:
"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
"This tough, powerful novel is an eye opener. It made me understand better why someone would give up the home they know and love to survive, and the grit required to cross that border. It is essential reading for our time" - Tracy Chevalier
"In a brutal age where empathy and compassion are little more than after thoughts, American Dirt oozes humanity from every page. It will be a long time before I can close my eyes without thinking of Luca, Lydia, Rebeca and Soledad. If there was ever a novel more of its time I’ve yet to read it" - Sam Baker
All our copies of American Dirt have now been allocated - don't forget that if you win one you will need to add your thoughts and questions for Jeanine by the end of Febuary on the designated thread (coming soon).
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