If you haven’t heard about “American Dirt” that’s probably because you don’t follow the social media accounts of the left-leaning celebrities who embraced it and are now awkwardly backtracking. The novel tells the story of a Mexican mother and son who are forced to flee their home for safety in the United States after they get caught up with a cartel boss. The novel was intended as a moving, albeit action-filled, tribute to immigrants who make the journey to the US border, and at first it seemed it was destined to be a huge cultural success. The book sold for a reported 7-figure sum and a movie adaptation seemed inevitable.
Oprah Winfrey read a galley of the book and praised it. She also sent copies to a number of celebrities including actresses Selma Hayek and Gina Rodriguez who similarly praised the book on social media. Last week, Oprah selected the book for her popular book club which meant the book was all but guaranteed to be a best seller. Here’s a bit of Oprah praising the book on CBS This Morning just last week:
Best-selling author @jeaninecummins joins @Oprah and @CBSThisMorning live to talk about ‘American Dirt,’ the newest @oprahsbookclub selection. #ReadWithUs https://t.co/CEMuNAUKCB pic.twitter.com/lesnvzUYnR
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) January 21, 2020