Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Oprah adds debut novelist Ayana Mathis to her new book club

I heard firsthand from author Tawni O'Dell this summer, when she spoke at BookFest PA, what being an Oprah's Book Club pick does for your career.

"This is the power of Oprah," O'Dell said. "Before the announcement my book was 13,000 on the Amazon rankings. After the announcement, it was instantly No. 1."

Now Oprah, with her Oprah's Book Club 2.0, is giving that same lift to a debut novelist, Ayana Mathis, author of "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie" (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Dec. 2012, 256 pp., $14.97)

Winfrey announced today that an author interview will be aired Feb. 3 on Winfrey's OWN network, according to an Associated Press report. Winfrey compared Mathis' book to the fiction of Toni Morrison.

"The opening pages of Ayana's debut took my breath away," said Winfrey, OWN CEO, in an interview published on Marketwire. "I can't remember when I read anything that moved me in quite this way, besides the work of Toni Morrison."

Oprah Winfrey and author Ayana Mathis
Published this week by Alfred A. Knopf, "Twelve Tribes" tells of a teenager's journey from Mississippi to Philadelphia in the 1920s and the large family she ends up raising, per the AP.

Winfrey revived her club, now called Oprah's Book Club 2.0, earlier this year with Cheryl Strayed's memoir "Wild." Dozens of books over the past 20 years have become best-sellers, thanks to the former talk-show host's endorsements.

Click here to read Oprah's best quotes from "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie" from

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