Oprah forgives author Jonathan Franzen; gives his book her "O"
Oprah has forgiven Franzen!
In this, the First Week of her Very Last Season as Queen of Daytime Talk TV, Oprah Winfrey continued making headlines Friday, when she, exactly 14 years to the day of announcing her first Book Club pick, officially forgave Jonathan Franzen for that unpleasantness back in 2001, and named his new novel "Freedom" as her new Book Club Pick.
"From the very first chapter, I declared it a tour de force," Oprah said modestly in Friday's announcement.
Oprah and Franzen will officially kiss and make up during the November sweep.
While this new book pushes all of Oprah's buttons -- it being about (as Oprah's camp put it) "a comic and tragic epic of contemporary love and marriage.... [that] captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl,and the responsibility of privilege -- and though her camp was quick to point out that each of Oprah's Book Club selections has skyrocketed to the top of bestsellers lists, the daytime diva is a bit late coming to this particular party.
Released in late August, "Freedom" was "virtually canonized by critics before publication" the Associated Press recently reported, and has been on top of bestseller lists -- without Oprah's approval.
For those of you who have blotted the Franzen Unpleasantness from memory: nine years ago Oprah bestowed her Book Club Pick-dom on Franzen's "The Corrections." But he repaid her munificence with ambivalence, saying publicly that some of her book choices had been "schmaltzy."
Though he quickly apologized for his comment, the doors to The Kingdom of Oprah were slammed shut immediately, and he was un-invited to appear on her show.
But, in the spirit of the Farewell Season, Oprah has once again invited Franzen to sit down with her and talk book. And the Oprah book club "O" logo is already appearing on new new shipments of the novel.
More from Oprah's First Week of her Very Last Season:
Lisa de Moraes
| September 17, 2010; 12:07 PM ET
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