A Letter Signed by 82 Writers Asks Oprah Winfrey to Remove Book Club Designation for AMERICAN DIRT

Jan 29, 2020
11:00 AM

A letter published Wednesday by LitHub and signed by 82 writers is asking for Oprah Winfrey to remove the Oprah Book Club designation for Jeanine Cummins’ American Dirt, a new novel that has been in the center of a brewing controversy.

“This is not a letter calling for silencing, nor censoring,” the letter said. “But in a time of widespread misinformation, fearmongering, and white-supremacist propaganda related to immigration and to our border, in a time when adults and children are dying in U.S. immigration cages, we believe that a novel blundering so badly in its depiction of marginalized, oppressed people should not be lifted up.”

“We are asking only that you remove the influential imprimatur of Oprah’s Book Club, as you have in the past upon learning that a book you’d championed wasn’t what it first seemed to be. Your openness to changing your mind, to incorporating additional information, has been inspiring and powerful. We speak to that openness now,” the letter added.

The letter included the names of many award-winning and best-selling authors, including Jennine Capó Crucet, V.V. Ganeshananthan, Valeria Luiselli, Lauren Markham, Daniel José Older and Luis Alberto Urrea.

The full letter is here.