American Dirt by jeannine cummins
I know there has been a lot of controversy regarding cultural appropriation in Jeanine Cummins' novel American Dirt, but I want to just reflect on the book itself and not the person behind the pen. Maybe I can do that because of White privilege or maybe because I'm a writer, but to me the story, the characters, the setting...these are the things that transport me, that invade my senses and carry me into the work- not the name or picture of the author at the back of the book.
This book brutally portrays a way of life I will never have to live, and for that I am grateful.
There were times as I was reading that I found myself holding my breath, not wanting to continue to turn the page because I knew what was coming, and it was heart-breaking.
We like redemption for our characters. We like to see their lives made whole again, their wounds healed, their perseverance rewarded. I'm not sure American Dirt delivers that, but that what makes this novel work so well. It's raw and real...it's the dirt of life.