Meet the Author – Encounter with American Writers returns on March 23, at 6:30pm, with the writer Jeanine Cummins, author of a memoir and three novels, including American Dirt (Edições ASA), one of the most controversial books of the last decades. The session is open to the public, and admission is free.

American Dirt tells the story of Lydia and Luca, the only survivors of their family’s massacre at the hands of drug traffickers, as they flee Mexico, where every minute counts and every exchange of glances is steeped in danger. Published in 2018, it is already considered a modern classic in American literature and compared to Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath.

But it is not only for this that the work and its author are known. Jeanine Cummins began doing research for this book in 2013, reading everything she could find, watching all the documentaries at her disposal. Then she went to the Mexican border, where she visited shelters and worked as a volunteer serving breakfasts.

In 2018, when he published the book, it received good reviews. But in late 2019, a review where she was accused of cultural appropriation and of stigmatizing Mexicans gained traction and the consequences were felt. It saw events and its tour canceled, it was threatened – as were the moderators and the bookstores.

In addition to American Dirt, Jeanine Cummins is the author of three other works: the memoir A Rip in Heaven and the novels The Outside Boy and The Crooked Branch. American Dirt is already being adapted for film. The author lives in New York City with her husband and children.

Meet the Author is an initiative of FLAD, in partnership with PÚBLICO newspaper. The goal is to provide Portuguese readers with close contact with some of the most respected writers in the USA.

The sessions will take place monthly and will be open to the general public, free of charge. The guest authors are interviewed by journalist Isabel Lucas, also author of Journey to the American Dream (Companhia das Letras), in which she tries to understand America through books.

The conversation with Jeanine Cummins will take place on March 23rd at 6:30pm in the FLAD auditorium at Rua do Sacramento à Lapa, 21 – Lisbon.

The session is open to the public and admission is free. If you would like to watch, please email