The Controversy Behind American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins Review
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins has caused quite a bit of controversy in the United States. But for what reason? Let’s talk more about the controversy behind American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins.
American Dirt, which tells the story of migrants who escaped from violence successfully became the top 5 in US bookstores. Selected for Oprah’s Book Club in January, it gained massive popularity; it also drew the attention of massive criticism. Critics of the book describe, on many occasions, their frustrations with the book’s author, and her use of stereotypes.
Behind the Book
Critics accuse the novel of being full of white and Latina stereotypes, as well as exploiting the experience of migrants. Myriam Gurba, a well known Mexican writer and author, called the book a form of “trauma porn”, indicating the book’s usage of trauma to lure in readers. Gurba, and other critics, believe the book to cash off the migrant life and struggle of Mexican immigrants, and warps the stories and truth to make it more readable and palatable to Americans.
The novelist said the reason she wrote the story was because she wanted to encourage discussion about immigration policy.
The New York Times reported the book received wide acclaim from novelists Stephen King and Sandra Cisneros. The author hopes to create “a back door into a bigger conversation about who we want to be as a country.”
She emphasized that the novel would open a more open conversation.
The Story And It’s Response
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins tells a heart pounding story, truly drawing in it’s readers to the novel’s excitement and perpetual grab. The story focuses on a Mexican mother and her son as they experience the terror and flight from the Mexican Cartel, after their family get’s brutally murdered. With the singular goal of making to the U.S. boarder in hopes of safety, this book forces readers to empathize with the Mexican migrant life and it’s many dangers.
The author Jeanine Cummins, identifying as half white and half latino, drew wide criticism for her many stereotypes in the book, even in the author’s note where she wished someone “browner” wrote the book. She has also apologized in an interview with Oprah Winfrey and a group of critics, where she explained her use of immigration from Ireland wasn’t a proper comparison to that of Mexican migrants fleeing the dangers of the cartel.
Her Irish descent, although not drawing too much criticism, was a huge topic of conversation when it came to writing such a book. Critics claimed her book was a definite indicator of the whitewashed publication and novel industry, where many colored writers try to break into with their own stories, but get turned away unless they write about race and immigration.