Oprah Winfrey launches the Apple TV + version of its famous book club with a controversial choice. In a two-part episode that begins airing on March 6, Winfrey will interview Jeanine Cummins, author of “American Dirt,” a novel about a woman fleeing Mexico to come to the United States, which sparked so much protests that the Cummins’ book tour has been canceled for security reasons.
“Oprah’s Book Club” press release on Apple TV + describes “American Dirt” as the story of a woman, Lydia Quixano Perez, who lives a happy life in Acapulco, Mexico, married, raising a son and managing director of a bookstore.
“Although cracks are starting to appear in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, his life is, on the whole, quite comfortable,” said the story on the novel. “Even though she knows they will never sell, Lydia stores some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day, a man walks into the store to browse and arrives at the registry with four books he would like to buy – two of which are his favorites. Javier is a scholar. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has horribly invaded the city. When Javier’s revealing profile by Lydia’s husband will be published, none of their lives will ever be the same. ”
At first, Cummins’ novel seemed to be a success in terms of publication. But then came an intense backlash, with critics attacking “American Dirt” as, in the words of a Mexican-American writer, “a pastiche of stereotypical and melodramatic tropes of the kind one would expect from an author who does not didn’t grow up in Mexico. culture.”
As objections rose, what was to be the Cummins writers’ tour was canceled, with scheduled bookstore appearances – including one at Powell’s City of Books in Portland – canceled.
With all this in context, “Oprahs Book Club” on Apple TV + will present two parts. In part 1 of the interview, according to the press release, “Winfrey and Cummins will be joined by authors Reyna Grande, Julissa Arce and Esther Cepeda, and members of the Latinx community for an in-depth discussion of the book and life real experiences of migrants. For part 2 of the interview, Winfrey talks to people from Latinx who have been reflected in the book and share their ideas on the real experiences of migrants. “
Winfrey is quoted in the press release, saying, “If you are reading the book, there is no doubt that you have heard of the controversy surrounding it”, adding: “I have heard and understood the concerns and I wanted to bring together many voices to build on this conversation because for 25 years on The Oprah Show, I have learned that this is the only way, I think, that we can really understand each other better. “
The two-part interview “Oprah’s Book Club” will be broadcast from midnight on Friday March 6 on apple.co/-oprahbookclub.
More from our coverage:
– Kristi Turnquist
Subscribe to Oregonian / OregonLive newsletters and podcasts for the latest news and the best stories.