Myriam Gurba wrote a review that was considered so scathing that one webpage refused to publish it unless she included at least something redeeming. Gurba refused and eventually “Pendeja, You Ain’t Steinbeck: My Bronca with Fake-Ass Social Justice Literature” was published elsewhere. David Schmidt wrote not one, but two pieces on the novel, with the second suggesting that Cummings repurposed passages that had appeared in books by Luis Alberto Urrea and Sonia Nazario. David Bowles was interviewed about it on NPR and Esmeralda Bermudez wrote that her "skin crawled after the first few chapters".
At the same time, American Dirt has been selected for Oprah’s coveted Book Club and Sandra Cisneros wrote a blurb that includes the claim that Cummings’s book is “the great novel of las Américas”.
Helpfully, Maria Hinojosa put Gurba, Urrea, Cisneros, and Cummings herself to difficult questions. The answers she got spoke far more about issues haunting the US than the novel itself. The interviews are certainly worth hearing: