Posted on January 27, 2020 at 2:37 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Several book signings with the author of American Dirt are being canceled in the wake of criticisms of the novel.

The novel by Jeanine Cummins tells the story of a mother-son duo fleeing carte violence in Mexico; though the book was widely hyped before its release, it’s since been criticized for what detractors say are negative stereotypes about Mexico and Mexicans and cultural appropriation.

Cummins had been slated to appear in St. Louis last weekend, but the bookstore decided to call off the event based on public and social media feedback, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Now, two events in California — one tonight in La Jolla, another tomorrow in Pasadena — have been canceled by the publisher, which in the La Jolla cancellation cited safety concerns.

Also over the weekend, actress Salma Hayek apologized for promoting the book without having read the book yet.

She explained that when Oprah Winfrey announced it as her book club choice, she was excited that it starred a Mexican woman and shared that excitement, according to NBC.

That said, other writers — including Sandra Cisneros, Julia Alvarez, Ann Patchett, and Stephen King — praised the novel and, so far, have not taken their words back yet.

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