Oprah announced today that her latest selection for Oprah’s Book Club — her 92sd-is WEB Du Bois love songs, by the poet Honorée Fanonne Jeffers. Although Jeffers published five collections of poetry, including Phillis’ age, which won the 2020 NAACP Image Award and was shortlisted for the National Book Award, WEB Du Bois love songs is his first novel. It is published by Harper Collins.
The multigenerational saga, which spans the full breadth of African American history, received superb pre-release reviews for its scope and ambition. The main protagonist of the novel, Ailey Pearl Garfield, provides the lens through which we see a woman struggling with both the desire to break free from her family to establish her own identity and to probe secrets that have been kept too long in the dark.
Oprah said of the book: “I was delighted with the history of this modern black family, and the way author Honorée Fanonne Jeffers interweaves the larger fabric of historical trauma with the ancestral history of this. family – of tragedy, of triumph, and also of the legacy of abusing. But it is also Ailey’s story, and through her, we are offered new learning about colorism, aspirations, the role of matriarchy and what it is to be a woman with whom he does not. should not laugh”. She’s a heroine for the ages.
The announcement of the choice was made in partnership with Apple, and an in-depth conversation between Oprah and Jeffers, who teaches creative writing and literature at the University of Oklahoma, will air September 24 exclusively on Apple TV +.
When Oprah called Jeffers to tell him that she had chosen the book as her last OBC pick, the author, who spent 11 years working on the novel, didn’t believe it was actually Oprah at the other end of the line. “Classic fun” was how Oprah described the moment. But soon they were discussing why Oprah was so personally linked to the saga and all they had in common, especially being born Black in the South and all that that involved – the food. , the landscape, the storytelling and, of course, slavery forever. threatening specter. And they also shared this: Oprah and Jeffers are both survivors of sexual abuse.
The Oprah Book Club connects a global community of readers with stories that really matter to today’s most inspiring authors. To participate in the weekly chats with Oprah and others, follow @oprahsbookclub on Instagram and Facebook and #ReadWithUs.
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