What you need to know
- "Oprah's Book Club" takes on the "American Dirt" controversy.
- The book has been accused of portraying Latinos poorly.
- Oprah is joined by the book's author, Jeanine Cummins.
This week's episode of Apple TV+ show "Oprah's Book Club" will feature the controversial book "American Dirt" with author Jeanine Cummins invited onto the show. But this isn't any ordinary book review, with three vocal critics of the book also invited to take part.
Authors Reyna Grande, Julissa Arce, and Esther Cepeda also take part in what becomes a discussion that's more important than any single book – how are Latinos portrayed?
Variety notes that the show is actually made up of two parts.
In Part 1 of the interview, Winfrey and Cummins will be joined by authors Reyna Grande, Julissa Arce and Esther Cepeda, who have criticized the book, along with other members of the Latinx community for an in-depth discussion of "American Dirt" and real-life immigrant experiences. In the second part of the interview, Winfrey speaks with Latinx people who said they did see themselves reflected in Cummins' novel and share their insights on the immigrant experience.
"American Dirt" follows a mother and her son as they flee frug violence in an attempt to try and create a better life for themselves in the United States. Given the current immigration climate in the States, this was always going to be a controversial subject. But Winfrey felt strongly that the discussion about how people are portraid in art is an important one to have.
"If you read the book there is no doubt you heard about the controversy around it," said Winfrey. "I heard and understand the concerns and wanted to bring together many voices to lean into this conversation because for 25 years on 'The Oprah Show' I learned that is the only way I think we can actually gain a better understanding of one another."
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