In America, a less traditional type of award was publicized in September. Oprah Winfrey announced her 64th book club pick and it looks like Bookclub-in-a-Box was right on the mark. In our latest blog, we chose 5 titles that we thought could be the winning novel and our first pick, Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, is Oprah’s choice. For those who remember the Oprah-Franzen spat in 2001, you may be surprised by her choice. After all, it takes a special sort of author to feel anything but overjoyed when their 3rd novel is given the Oprah bookclub stamp. But in 2001, Franzen reacted negatively when Oprah’s “stamp”, was in fact, an embedded, printed stamp on The Corrections’s cover with Oprah’s name. As a consequence of Franzen’s remarks, his appearance on the show was canceled. Now, nine years later, with his new novel Freedom attracting world wide and positive attention, Franzen has been re-invited, and this time, has humbly accepted. When asked by a Star Tribune reporter “if he thought Oprah would want to bless his new book”, Franzen replied “I would be happy if she did”. Franzen will appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show in November 2010.
Stay tuned for our discussion guide on this book. It is scheduled for publication early 2011. We, like Oprah, think it’s brilliant. Until then, have a look at our guide to his other fantastic novel, The Corrections and read more about the Oprah incident.