Oprah Picks ‘American Dirt’ By Gaithersburg High Grad For Book Club

It looks like Oprah and Gaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman have similar taste in books.

Oprah Winfrey announced Tuesday morning that she’s selected “American Dirt” by Jeanine Cummins — an alumna of Gaithersburg High School — for Oprah’s Book Club. “American Dirt” follows the story of Mexican migrant who flees her home with her son from a drug cartel.

In an Instagram post, Winfrey said, “I had to pick this book. From the first page, first sentence, I was in. I was opened, I was shook up, it woke me up, and I feel that everyone who reads this book is going to be immersed on what it means to be a migrant on the run for freedom.”

Last week, Ashman announced “American Dirt” was also selected as the first Gaithersburg Reads book. Gaithersburg Reads is a community-wide book club that leads to a large book discussion with Cummins at Gaithersburg High School Performing Arts Center on March 31 at 7 p.m.

Ashman emailed MyMCMedia with his reaction Winfrey selecting “American Dirt”:

My first reaction was, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Oprah!” But, in all seriousness, we’re so glad to see everyone’s great interest in this book and hope it inspires even more people to be part of our #GaithersburgREADS program and join us on March 31st.

Oprah to Join Cummins at Border for Apple TV Special

Cummins appeared on CBS This Morning with Oprah on Tuesday morning and shared her reaction to “American Dirt” being selected for Oprah’s Book Club.

“It’s the first words every writer dreams of hearing: ‘Jeanine it’s Oprah Winfrey,’” Cummins said.

Winfrey said she and Cummins will visit the Mexico border for a book club discussion, which will air on Apple TV in March.

“This story really changed me and changed the way I see what it means to be an immigrant coming to this country,” Winfrey said.

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Gaithersburg Mayor Selects ‘American Dirt’ for City-Wide Book Club

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Deirdre Byrne

About Deirdre Byrne

Deirdre Byrne is a social media coordinator for Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at dbyrne@mymcmedia.org or on twitter at @DeirdreByrneMCM.


2 Responses to “Oprah Picks ‘American Dirt’ By Gaithersburg High Grad For Book Club”

  1. Avatar
    On January 22, 2020 at 8:36 am responded with... #

    Another fantastic book by a local author, Naomi Milliner, is Super Jake and the King of Chaos for middle grade.

  2. Avatar
    On January 22, 2020 at 4:46 pm responded with... #

    This is so problematic in so many ways. First off, this story is written by a white woman who decided to be Puerto Rican before her book came out to benefit the selling of her book. Second, she is benefiting from the trauma of the people who cross the border . So many Latinos have been writing about their experiences when crossing the border then all of a sudden here comes this woman and puts her white stamp all over and she gets a 7 figure advance and all bc she decided it was her story to tell when in fact IT WAS NOT! Shame on you for praising this especially when you have a city like Gaithersburg where a good number of your residents are Latinx and are immigrants.

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