After a widespread online outrage against the novel “American Dirt”, the author Jeanine Cummins and her publisher Flatiron Books have decided against the scheduled author tour intended to promote the book.
“Based on specific threats to booksellers and the author, we believe there exists real peril to their safety,” wrote the president and publisher of Flatiron Bob Miller after a series of online threats.
FYI: There’s a book out called American Dirt about a border crossing filled w/harmful Mexican stereotypes that hurt rather than help the community. Oprah picked it for her book club. You want to see how authentic it is? These barbed wire centerpieces were used at party for it. pic.twitter.com/21wj6h2VzJ
Furthermore, addressing the controversy around the book, Miller said that the discussions about the novel have “exposed deep inadequacies” concerning how the publisher tends to address representation and diversity.
A white man came in to buy "American Dirt" b/c he wants to substantiate the criticisms for himself. I told him that putting money in her pocket to hate read a book is contributing to the very same spectacle-making that people are talking about, and he said "well I'm a writer."
The book, chosen by Oprah for her Apple TV book club, centers around a Mexican woman and her son who decide to flee to the US to escape from drug cartel violence.
so the author of American Dirt “lived in fear for this moment, being called to account."
I'm putting forth my petition for a latinx author to write a million dollar novel about the fear of a white family fleeing accountability in hopes of a better, more ignorant life.
Am I certain that American Dirt is trash? For sure. But it's trash for a lot of reasons, including that Cummins has no fucking idea what she is doing. Like girl, you don't even know who should have been the subject of your shit book. How tragic.
The book was criticized by many who believe that the book is pandering to stereotypes and harsh anger towards the author can be seen online, along with accusations of racism.
“Unfortunately, our concerns about safety have led us to the difficult decision to cancel the book tour,” said Miller.
“We made serious mistakes in the way we rolled out the books. We should never have claimed that it was a novel that defined the immigrant experience; we should not have said that Jeanine’s husband was an undocumented immigrant while not specifying that he was from Ireland; we should not have had a centerpiece at a bookseller last May that replicated the book jacket so tastelessly. We can now see how insensitive those and other decisions were, and we regret them,” the statement continued.