‘American Dirt’ Publisher Cancels Author’s Book Tour Over Safety Concerns After Oprah Winfrey Addresses Book Club Controversy
The author who wrote American Dirt, the book at the heart of Oprah Winfrey’s book club controversy is reportedly receiving threats; to the point where the publisher canceled her book tour.
Bob Miller of Flatiron Books said in a statement, according to Good Morning America,
“Our concerns about safety have led us to the difficult decision to cancel the book tour. Based on specific threats to booksellers and the author, we believe there exists real peril for their safety.”
Despite the backlash, the book is a No. 1 New York Times bestseller. While this might be good news for the author, Jeanine Cummins, the negative attention behind the book could overshadow its success.
Jeanine Cummins received backlash from the Latinx community as her book tells the story of a mother who has to escape the dangers of Mexico and flee to the U.S. with her son. Many thought Jeanine Cummins was out of line for writing such a heartwrenching book as she’s not Mexican.
Still, Oprah Winfrey initially endorsed the book and selected it for her infamous book club on Jan. 21.
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Our next book club selection is “American Dirt” by @jeaninecummins! From the first page, first sentence, @oprah was IN. It’s a heart-wrenching page-turner, and you won’t be able to put it down.? ? If you’ve been wanting to #ReadWithUs, now’s your chance to join the club and the conversation. Download your copy on @applebooks, link in bio.?
Just days later, Oprah Winfrey decided the book wasn’t the best choice and released a statement explaining that she would rather have a conversation from both sides of the immigration topic.
“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.”
“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.”
Oprah Winfrey, who has been the center of controversy herself lately said, said she wants 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.”
“I think it’s gonna allow us to open up the conversation in unexpected and, I really hope, meaningful ways.”
Do you think the book tour should be canceled? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!