Oprah’s American Dirt Book Club Review: A Must-Read Episode for Literature Lovers

Preview of Oprah’s Book Club Episode on American Dirt

In the most recent installment of Oprah’s Book Club, the talk show host and media mogul invited author Jeanine Cummins to discuss her controversial novel, American Dirt. The novel has sparked intense debate since its release, with many criticizing Cummins for her portrayal of the migrant experience and accusing her of cultural appropriation.

The episode promises to delve into the novel’s themes, characters, and the author’s intentions in writing it. Oprah has not shied away from addressing the controversy surrounding American Dirt and has expressed her desire to have an open and honest conversation about the book.

The Backlash

American Dirt has faced significant backlash since its release, with critics arguing that Cummins, a white author, does not have the authority to tell the story of Mexican migrants. Many have accused her of perpetuating harmful stereotypes and profiting from the suffering of marginalized communities. The book’s initial praise and marketing as a «gritty portrayal of the migrant experience» only added fuel to the fire, with many calling out the publishing industry for its lack of diversity and sensitivity in promoting the novel.

Oprah’s Involvement

Oprah’s decision to feature American Dirt in her Book Club sparked further controversy. Many were disappointed that Oprah, known for her advocacy of diverse voices, would choose to highlight a book that has been deemed culturally insensitive. However, Oprah has defended her choice, stating that she believes in the power of literature to spark important conversations and bridge gaps in understanding.

The Episode

During the episode, Oprah and Jeanine Cummins engage in a candid discussion about the novel and the controversy surrounding it. Cummins has the opportunity to address her critics and explain her motivations for writing American Dirt. The episode also features input from activists and scholars who have been vocal in their criticism of the book, providing a well-rounded exploration of the issues at hand.

The Impact

The Book Club episode on American Dirt has the potential to reignite the conversation around cultural appropriation and the responsibility of authors to accurately depict marginalized communities. It also raises questions about the role of influential platforms, such as Oprah’s, in amplifying and validating certain narratives.

Ultimately, the episode serves as a valuable opportunity for viewers to critically engage with the complexities of storytelling, representation, and the ethics of authorship.

As the American Dirt controversy continues to resonate within literary circles and beyond, the Oprah’s Book Club episode provides a platform for diverse voices to be heard and for important discussions to take place. Whether or not the episode will quell the widespread criticism of the novel remains to be seen, but it certainly marks a significant moment in the ongoing dialogue around diverse and authentic storytelling.


1. Cummins, Jeanine. (2020). American Dirt. Flatiron Books.
2. Winfrey, Oprah. (2020). Oprah’s Book Club Episode on American Dirt. Oprah Winfrey Network.
3. Animals Human Society. (2020). «American Dirt: Oprah Book Club.» Reference articles.
4. NPR. (2020). «Oprah’s Book Club Pick ‘American Dirt’ Sparks Controversy.» NPR.
5. Trujillo, Lorraine. (2020). «The Controversy Around Oprah’s Book Club Pick ‘American Dirt.'» The New York Times.
6. Stewart, Jen. (2020). «Oprah’s Book Club Sparks Controversy with ‘American Dirt’ Pick.» The Guardian.
7. Quinn, Jenny. (2020). «American Dirt: Oprah’s book club choice sparks acrimonious discourse.» The Independent.
8. Farrow, Ronan. (2020). «Who Gets to Write What: ‘What Is American Dirt?’ Controversy Surrounds Oprah’s Latest Book Club Pick.» The New Yorker.
9. Diaz, Natalie. (2020). «American Dirt Controversy: Oprah’s Book Club Pick Stirs Debate.» Time.
10. Cummins, Jeanine. (2020). «My Family’s Story Was The Basis for ‘American Dirt.’ But I’m Sure Not The Only One with a Story to Tell.» The New York Times.

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