Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperhead is the latest pick for Oprah Winfrey’s popular book club.
Kingsolver’s novel, published Tuesday by Harper, follows the son of a single mother struggling to deal with loss and addiction in an economically depressed part of Virginia. In a starred review, a critic for Kirkus called the novel, inspired by Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield, “an angry, powerful book seething with love and outrage for a community too often stereotyped or ignored.”
“Her new novel is just the kind of book you want to read right now: an epic tale set in the mountains of southern Appalachia and narrated by a truly unforgettable protagonist, Damon,” Winfrey wrote on Instagram. “This book is an extraordinary coming-of-age tale that journeys through poverty, child labor, addiction, love and loss.”
Kingsolver, whose 1998 novel, The Poisonwood Bible, was a previous Oprah’s Book Club pick, reacted to the new book’s selection on Instagram, writing, “DEMON COPPERHEAD meets the world today! Along with this smashing surprise we’ve been keeping secret for so many months, it truly feels like a birth day. Thanks Oprah, and everybody else on Team Demon, for helping me get this story, these lost boys, and our unsung place onto a great big map.”
Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.