Monday, September 26, 2005

Soap Oprah

Fiction needs all the big mouth friends it can get, so pleased I am indeed that Oprah Winfrey is going to feature works by contemporary writers again. Now, I'm no fan of her often melodramatic and always glurgy talk show, but she's put some pretty strong titles in the limelight in the past, including works by Toni Morrison, Wally Lamb and Anita Shreve. And her endorsement means that these works are also thrust before the Malaysian reading public. We all like to be told what's good to read - no shame in that.

My own particular debt of gratitude to Oprah is that without her book club, I probably never would have heard of one of my favourite books - Bernhard Schlink's The Reader.

Oprah stopped featuring contemporary titles after a spat with Jonathan Franzen (author of The Corrections, a novel I very much enjoyed) in 2002.

She then decided that dead authors were a safer bet, since they couldn't talk back. But the classic titles she chose did not generate the same enthusiasm, and readers lobbied for contemporary fiction to be put back on the menu. She's now featuring A Million Little Pieces by James Frey.

Do check out Oprah's website for some interesting discussion of some very good reads.

4 comments:

The Visitor said...

i will never trust Oprah's book recommendations again. i bought and read A Map Of The World, by i-forget-her-name, and it is the shittiest, most pretentious, most boring and most stupidly written book i have ever come across!

oh heavens! woe is me!

Yvonne Foong said...

Heya Sharon. I'm wondering what happened to last Saturday's meeting? Cordy and I went to MPh to find a "coffee break" notice on the door. We registered beforehand but was not informed about the change of plans.

bibliobibuli said...

visitor - Jane Hamilton. (I gooled.) One to avoid then!

Yvonne I'll forward your comment to Renee and Oon Yeoh. MPH should have contacted you. The speakers for the session (on publishing contracts) were mysteriously unavailable, Oon Yeoh said. By the time I knew this it was too later to get in anyone else. Hopefully Writers Circle will be back on track soon and revitalised!!

The Visitor said...

the movie of the book is quite lousy as well. starring Sigourney Weaver. i only watched the movie and bought the book becos the film score was composed by Pat Metheny.