Truly Bad Films

Monday, September 26, 2005

Oprah Brings Living Authors Back Into Fold

The New York Times reports that Oprah Winfrey will resume promoting books by contemporary authors in her Book Club. In recent years she was choosing only classic literature for her Book Club. She closed down the Book club for a short while in 2002, months after Jonathan Franzen, the author of one of her Club selections, publically stated that her book selections were "unsophisticated and appealed mainly to women."

What a prick! Not that I completely disagree with him, but seriously, how much narcissism does it take to tell Oprah that you, and your book, are too eff'ing good for her and her millions of readers? Apparently, Jonathan only wanted sophisticated men to read his important book. And he didn't care if it made less money as a result.

Wonder how the publisher felt about Jonathan's prima donna posturing? Bet they weren't throwing a party over it.

But, there is a grain of truth there. Some of Oprah's choices have been howlers. A few that leap to mind: Anything by Dr. Phil, White Oleander, and Emeril's TV Dinners.

Still, her forum encourages reading, which anyone in my profession marks under the "positve" column, and she chooses as many good books as she does bad. So I'm glad Oprah is getting back to featuring books by living writers. It invigorates the publishing world and brings attention to some who deserve it.


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