Demon Copperhead re-envisions the Charles Dickens classic David Copperfield, setting it in modern-day Appalachia. Kingsolver conceived the idea while on a visit to Dickens’s historic seaside English retreat and actually started writing Demon Copperhead at Dickens’s own desk. It’s Kingsolver’s 17th novel in some three decades, and in writing it, she says she wanted to counter some of the condescension and downright snobbery directed at the region in which she was born and still lives, an area whose people, she believes, have been exploited for generations, most recently by pharmaceutical companies who targeted Appalachian residents and created the current opioid crisis. As Kingsolver recently told The New York Timesthis produced “a generation of kids who’ve had their lives torn apart.”
About the pick, Oprah said: “This is the second time I’ve chosen one of Barbara Kingsolver’s novels for my book club—22 years ago we named The Poisonwood Bible as a selection. Her latest book grabbed me from its opening lines. I so admire the way Barbara has taken the plight of a young boy and invited us on his journey through loss, the foster system, addiction and so much more. The novel speaks to so many of our country’s relevant issues, but most importantly, it’s absolutely riveting. Can’t wait to hear what other readers think!”
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