Forgive, forget and Freedom?
Oprah Winfrey’s finale season premiere week has already been loaded with surprises– it kicked off on Monday with an Australian vacation giveaway for her entire audience. But according to USA Today Friday’s show may deliver the biggest surprise of all. Winfrey’s book club pick will be announced and – SURPRISE- it’s written by Jonathan Franzen.
Franzen’s latest novel,” Freedom”, is said to be Winfrey’s latest book club selection, taking its place among books such as Anna Karenina and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle on Oprah fans’ bookshelves.
Franzen infamously dissed Oprah back in 2001 when she chose his novel “The Corrections ” for her book club. At the time Franzen was concerned that the Oprah logo on his book cover would drive male readers away. He didn’t want to be labeled for writing “chick lit” and he didn’t relish the idea of having the Oprah corporate label on the cover his book.
So what did Winfrey do? She unceremoniously uninvited Franzen to her book club dinner. Franzen later apologized for any hurt feelings, but Oprah’s cool “We’re moving on to our next book” made it clear that she wasn’t giving Franzen any more of her time. Franzen later recounted some of his Oprah experience in an essay in his book “How to Be Alone”.
And although Franzen had been hesitant over the whole matter, wasn’t Oprah’s inviting him and then uninviting him to dinner a bit rude? Even James Frey had his chance to sit down with her for an interview /tongue lashing after he pulled the wool over our eyes with his book ” A Million Little Pieces” in a later Oprah book club flap!
In any event, Franzen doesn’t need Oprah’s stamp of approval for “Freedom”. It’s already been touted as a “masterpiece of American fiction” by The New York Times.
The only question left is is, what will Oprah serve for dinner?