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Oprah Winfrey’s pick continues to get criticized

The controversy around “American Dirt” is heating up.

About a week after its release, the remainder of the promotional tour for the book has been suspended, citing concerns for author Jeanine Cummins’ safety. And Oprah Winfrey, who selected the controversial novel for her book club, recognized the need for “substantive discussion” about the work, to stream on Apple TV+ in March.

The novel is about a Mexican mother and her young son fleeing to the U.S. border after numerous family members are murdered in drug cartel-related violence. It was praised before its Jan. 21 release, but Mexican-American writers, activists and others have criticized “American Dirt” for what they argue are stereotypical depictions of Mexicans. Cummins is of Irish and Puerto Rican background.

“I was deeply moved, it had me riveted from the very first sentence and I could hardly wait, really, to share it with all of you,” Winfrey said in a video posted to her book club’s Instagram page earlier this week. “Now, it has become clear to me from the outpouring of, 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.”

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