Gaithersburg Postpones City-Wide ‘American Dirt’ Book Discussion

Gaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman announced Friday that the city-wide “American Dirt” book discussion with author Jeanine Cummins has been postponed as a response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The discussion was scheduled for March 31 and also featured author Reyna Grande. Cummins’ book was haled with positive reviews and was even selected as Oprah’s Book Club pick. But it also received so much backlash from the Latinx publishing community for whitewashing the immigration experience, that Cummins’ publisher had to cancel her national book tour.

Despite the book tour’s cancelation, Cummins, a graduate of Gaithersburg High School, was still scheduled to continue with the first-ever “Gaithersburg Reads” book discussion.

Ashman said in a statement: “Both Jeanine and Reyna have graciously agreed to work with us on rescheduling, and we still have every intention of putting on this event. We will keep you posted through [our Facebook and Twitter accounts].”

In regards to the status of the Gaithersburg Book Festival scheduled May 16, Ashman said organizers are not yet ready to make a call.

“For the time being, we are continuing to proceed as if everything is a ‘go,'” Ashman said. “The key date at which we will evaluate the status of GBF will be Monday, April 20.”

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