MorseLife Held Second Virtual Literary Society Event Featuring American Dirt Author



The New York Times’ Bestselling Author Discussed the Persistence of Hope Among Families Who Endured So Much Hardship


(West Palm Beach, FL.) – MorseLife Health System along with hostess, Marlene Strauss held its second virtual Literary Society event via the Zoom platform on Thursday, June 18, 2020. The online discussion featured “American Dirt” author, Jeanine Cummins, live from her home in New York City.


Oprah’s 83rd Book Club Pick, “American Dirt” tells the story of a mother and bookstore owner in Acapulco, Mexico, who attempts to escape to the United States with her son, Luca, after their family is killed by a drug cartel. She is forced to leave behind her life and flee as an undocumented immigrant to a land of hope and freedom.

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

This harrowing story begins explosively, introducing the characters Lydia and Luca in the middle of a cartel shootout. When asked what inspired Cummins to write this story, she replied that she had “47 different answers to that question” and many of her answers drew from her personal experiences of immigration, trauma, grief and loss. She had written two drafts of “American Dirt” that tried to tell the story of survival and immigration from multiple points of view, but only one character stood out as the protagonist leader, 8-year-old Luca. Cummins spent 5 years researching the conditions of migrant children and families detained in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities as well as poured her own heartache and personal trauma into the now published version of “American Dirt” to paint a portrait of a real-life boy that readers could relate to.


Cummins also announced to the MorseLife Literary Society audience that “American Dirt” will be made into a movie. The movie adaptation is currently in the early stages of development.


Since its inception in 2008, the MorseLife Literary Society has been a benefit to donors and their guests to experience presentations from award-winning authors while being introduced to the programs and services MorseLife provides to seniors living in our community. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, MorseLife helped its donors to stay connected as a community by hosting a virtual version of its highly attended Literary Society event.


Keith Myers, President and CEO of MorseLife Health System, thanked nearly 100 guests who attended the lecture and discussed the newly launched “MorseLife COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.”


“The health of our seniors and their families continues to be our top priority,” said Myers. “The pandemic has caused us all to make significant adjustments to everything we do. Here at MorseLife, the seniors we serve are our area’s most vulnerable, and for many, we are their lifeline. That is why we have created our ‘MorseLife COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund,’ to help us maintain enough supplies for screening, testing and personal protective equipment to better serve our seniors in need.”


To donate to the “MorseLife COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund,” please visit  For more information about MorseLife Health System and the Literary Society Series please email or call 561-242-4661.