Oprah Winfrey Speaks Out After Facing Criticism Over Adding ‘American Dirt’ To Her Book Club: I Want To Bring People Together From All Sides To Talk About It
Oprah Winfrey is switching things up after she received tons of criticism for adding American Dirt to her book club list.
The novel, which was published on Jan 21, sparked much conversation before it even hit shelves. It tells the story of a woman who has to escape the violence and dangers in Mexico and flea to the United States with her son. While Oprah Winfrey said the book had an impact on her from the first sentence alone, many in the Latinx community took issue with the piece and its author, Jeanine Cummins, who isn’t Mexican.
The frustration was relayed to Oprah Winfrey when she announced it as a book for her book club. Now, she not only responded but said she’s making changes on how the book will be approached.
She said on the book club’s Instagram page Monday (Jan. 27),
“There’s been a lot of talk about this book lately. And I just wanted you all to hear directly from me that I read an advanced copy of ‘American Dirt’ last summer before it was even an official book. And it was a visceral experience for me; a migrant’s story told from a mother’s perspective about the lengths she would go to to protect her child, to get to freedom in America. I was deeply moved. It had me riveted from the very first sentence, and I could hardly wait to share it with all of you.”
She continued and said she’s had a change of heart after the reactions she’s experienced.
“Now, it has become clear to me from the outpouring, may I say, of very passionate opinions, that this selection has struck an emotional chord and created a need for a deeper, more substantive discussion. So when I first started to hear your comments opposing the selection, I was asking the question, in earnest, ‘What is offensive?’ I’ve spent the past few days listening to members of the Latinx community to get a greater understanding of their concern. And I hear them, I do.”
She added that her solution is to
“bring people together from all sides, to talk about this book. And who gets to publish what stories, and I’m hoping that that is going to resonate with many of you and your concerns.”
She revealed that the discussion will air on Apple+ TV in March.
“I think it’s gonna allow us to open up the conversation in unexpected and, I really hope, meaningful ways.”
Do you agree with Oprah Winfrey’s move? Tell us in the comments.