Latinx Twitter was set ablaze with the release of American Dirt. It’s a book about the immigrant experience, written by a non-immigrant, non-Mexican writer who wrote about the experience of crossing the border without any first-hand knowledge. In a time when Latinx writers struggle to get their work published, it was doubly offensive when the author, Jeanine Cummins, was offered a seven-figure book advance and was subsequently selected for Oprah’s Book Club. The book has been criticized for a cartoonish and stereotypical depiction of Mexicans, and galling lack of cultural sensitivity, not to mention a very awkward and inauthentic use of Spanish.
So we’re amplifying authentic immigrant stories by authors whose lived experiences have lent credibility to their narratives, including everything from the pioneering work of Gloria Anzaldúa to the more recent Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo. There are many great works by Latinx authors touching upon these themes, here’s just a small sampling of the canon of immigration literature that’s rich with real stories.