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American Dirt: 'Migrants are people. They are people, they are people...'

Fiction: American Dirt

Jeanine Cummins

Tinder Press, €16.99

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Two little boys: Two young children hold hands as they run away from clashes with Mexican National Guards after their migrant caravan crossed on foot from Guatemala to Mexico last week

Two little boys: Two young children hold hands as they run away from clashes with Mexican National Guards after their migrant caravan crossed on foot from Guatemala to Mexico last week

American Dirt

American Dirt

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Two little boys: Two young children hold hands as they run away from clashes with Mexican National Guards after their migrant caravan crossed on foot from Guatemala to Mexico last week

Approach with caution is my usual motto when opening a book whose pre-publication hype has been ratcheted up to 11. And the pre-publication noise around this novel has endured for over six months prior to publishing.

But caution was not required. Hype or no hype, American Dirt is the novel that, as the publicists promised, everyone will be talking about this year. And as another reviewer put it, "Even if this is the only book you read this year, you should read American Dirt". It's a sad indictment, though, on how inured we have become that it takes a work of fiction to wake us up to the terrible suffering of migrancy.


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