Give as a Gift

Send this book as a Gift!

Book Rating (327)

Narrator Rating (83)

American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel

Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Date: January 2020

Duration: 16 hours 45 minutes


#1 New York Times Bestseller

“Extraordinary.”—Stephen King

“This book is not simply the great American novel; it’s the great novel of las Americas. It’s the great world novel! This is the international story of our times. Masterful.”—Sandra Cisneros

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?

American Dirt will leave listeners utterly changed. It is a literary achievement filled with poignancy, drama, and humanity. It is one of the most important books for our times.

Already being hailed as 'a Grapes of Wrath for our times' and 'a new American classic,' Jeanine Cummins's American Dirt is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope.

'Narrator Yareli Arizmendi illuminates the humanity and individuality of Latin American migrants as they flee toward refuge in the North..The account of Lydia and Luca's travails, including terrifying rides atop Mexico's freight trains, is utterly compelling. But it is Arizmendi's voicing of Lydia, so full of fierce tenderness, that will stay with listeners after the story's close.'—AudioFile Magazine


  • Jessica G.

    I love this book! This is a must read for anyone who has an opinion on illegal immigration. It does not matter if you are for or against it, this book will educate the reader to learning about a life that most can only imagine. The strength of these characters, the story line and life that most are completely ignorant of are introduced to the reader almost immediately. Most people cannot comprehend what atrocities are going on in the world, and this book uncovers it. I can say, that after reading this book, it made me appreciate the many blessings I have and appreciate that I was born a United States citizen.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    I wasn't sure I'd like this book--but I was wrong. The more I listened, the more it pulled me in. I can't believe what the characters went through. Yet, I'm hearing that this is all too factual, not fiction. A lady I know has an aunt living in Mexico, and is experiencing the actions of the drug cartels. While at times I found it a stretch of logic to hear what an 8, 14 and 15 year old were going through, it kept me involved, wanting to know how they were able to do those things. Seeing their focus at getting to "el norte" , made me realize how fortunate I am to live where I do.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

  • Ulrike H.

    Loved this book! This story is truly moving and a great way to open our eyes to the other side of immigration

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    Well done. I have to remember it is a novel, however. It has me interested in reading more documentary accounts of the same topic. I felt the language was beautiful; so descriptive and emotional. The narrator did a fine job. I have recommended this book to many of my reader friends. Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    This was a great novel! I finished a few days ago, but can’t stop thinking about it. It definitely will make me think differently about immigration for the rest of my life!! The characters were amazing and strong and reading it you just knew this is what people are going through everyday just to get here!

  • Jeff M.

    This book will stick with me for a long time.

  • Effie P.

    Incredible story. Highly descriptive of the characters interior and exterior experiences. A universal story of resilience and transcendence despite hate and trauma sustained. Through the lives and struggles of these human beings making their journey to the US, we get an in depth look at what each of them is escaping from and what it’s truly like to be a migrant on the run from Latin America seeking asylum up North. This story gives them a voice and a face and in the process enlightens and elicits empathy. The author (regardless of her background) is an incredible storyteller and deserving of every accolade for this masterpiece. Her background and ethnicity should not be held against her in any way; she has used her own insight and imagination to craft a masterful tale, a feat not many can accomplish regardless of background and ethnicity. If people would like to pick a fight, then they should target the publishing world at large so that they can further expand publication opportunities for Latin American authors. That would be the rightful battle to wage instead of targeting an exceptional author who has every right to offer this beautiful book to the world.

  • Nickie W.

    I enjoyed the story. Heart wrenching journey. Highly recommend this book.

  • Rebecca L.

    Easy to listen to, descriptive, especially if the multiple tragedies that happen to the main characters and people they meet along the way. Decent character development.

  • Elizabeth R.

    If I could give more stars for this book, I would. I only recently re-read The Grapes of Wrath and the comparisons are apt. Jeanine Cummins' masterpiece is such an eye opener to the atrocities migrants endure as they trek north, attempting to escape the worst of mankind. The death grip the drug cartels have on the peoples of Mexico and South American countries was something I understood only peripherally. The stark reality is much, much worse than most people who have not read this book or studied the situation can know. This book is heartbreaking, riveting and truly a must-read. I am so fortunate to be a Canadian.

American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel

by Jeanine Cummins

has successfully been added to your shopping cart

American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel, Jeanine Cummins
American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel, Jeanine Cummins
This title is due for release on January 21, 2020.

Enter your email below to be notified as soon as it is available!

By clicking "Notify Me" you consent to receiving electronic marketing communications from You will be able to unsubscribe at any time.

Already a member? Log In to add this title to your wishlist.
American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel, Jeanine Cummins
This title is due for release on January 21, 2020
We'll send you an email as soon as it is available!

Already a member?
Log in to add this title in your wishlist
American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel, Jeanine Cummins
Please Log in and add this title to your wishlist.
American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel, Jeanine Cummins

We will send you an email as soon as this title is available.