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Cummins' American Dirt and Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth: Can stories, even when they aren't our own, build bridges?

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Jeanine Cummins is on the hot seat right now for writing American Dirt, a novel about immigration and life on the Mexican/American border, which was (until a few days ago) believed to become one of the most important novels of 2020. Oprah named it a Book Club Choice. Stephen King endorsed it, as did Ann Patchett, John Grisholm, Sandra Cisneros, and other notable writers. The New York Times and Amazon gave it the #1 slot. Rumor has it that the publisher paid Cummins a 7-figure advance.

A few days ago, the dirt hit the fan for Cummins and Flatiron Books (an imprint of MacMillan). The book tour was cancelled. Oprah was unusually quiet for a few days, then posted a video on her book club Instagram page allowing for an opportunity in March to discuss the controversy in more depth.

Suddenly, American Dirt was everywhere. And nowhere.

January 31st Slate Magazine published an article by writer Laura Miller, which discusses this question:

Will the American Dirt Fiasco Change American Publishin…