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Bookreporter Talks To

Nov 20, 2020

We have a new format for our first “Bookaccino Live” Book Group event, in which we discuss American Dirt with the author, Jeanine Cummins.

Carol interviews Jeanine at the start and then invites eight readers to ask questions live. To finish we went to questions from our Zoom audience. Carol had been looking forward to this interview for a long time. American Dirt is a Bookreporter Bets On pick, as well as an Oprah Book Club selection and is a finalist for the Goodreads Reader’s Choice Award in Fiction.

Jeanine and Carol cover a lot of ground in this conversation, including her research for the book, the stops and starts it had over a five-year period, her various inspirations, and her passion for the subject matter. And yes, they talked about the controversy surrounding it at publication.

Readers who joined asked about the title, the cover design, the incorporation of Spanish into the prose, and what Jeanine hoped people would take away from it. And there was also a lively conversation about the audio version. It’s a deep-dive conversation into a book that readers loved --- and which they have noted made a strong impact on them.

Books discussed:

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

A Rip in Heaven

The Crooked Branch

The Outside Boy

The Book of Rosie by Rosayra Pablo Cruz and Julie Schwietert Collazo 


Jeanine is working with the International Rescue Committee to raise funds to help support severely under-resourced programs that offer protection and hope to the men, women, and children waiting in Mexico to get to the United States. She is matching donations up to $100,000 until the end of 2020.

60 Minutes Episode Mentioned:

The Trade on Showtime:


Audiobook Excerpt Included
American Dirt narrated by Yareli Arizmendi