Oprah absolves Jonathan Franzen and picks 'Freedom' for the Book Club | EW.com

Books | Shelf Life

Oprah absolves Jonathan Franzen and picks 'Freedom' for the Book Club


Jonathan-FranzenImage Credit: Janet Mayer/PR Photos; Joe Kohen/Getty ImagesFor all the myriad words to describe Oprah Winfrey, predictable is certainly not one of them. A couple of weeks back, I presumptively quipped that the Queen of All Media would almost certainly not choose Jonathan Franzen’s new book for her Book Club, based on the “feud” the two had back in 2001. But, true to form, it looks like Oprah has surprised us all, choosing Freedom, his latest, as her first Book Club pick in nearly a year. While it won’t be officially announced until tomorrow, the AP reports that three separate book-sellers have confirmed the new pick.

For those who don’t remember the literary kerfuffle from nine years ago, Franzen had made somewhat disparaging remarks about the Club after Oprah named his novel, The Corrections, as her latest selection, which then led to Oprah rescinding the invitation to appear on her show. I can only imagine that after this display of Oprah’s capacity for forgiveness, James Frey is waiting in the wings with apology flowers and a box of chocolates.

UPDATE: Oprah officially announced today, incidentally 14 years to the day after announcing her first selection, that Freedom will indeed be her next pick, saying, “From the very first chapter, I declared it a tour de force.”

More from Our Partners