The Oprah Affect: Critical Essays on Oprah's Book Club

The Oprah Affect: Critical Essays on Oprah's Book Club

by Cecilia Konchar Farr
     
 

The Oprah Affect explores the cultural impact of Oprah’s Book Club, particularly in light of debates about the definition and purpose of literature in American culture. For the critics collected here, Oprah’s Book Club stands, in the context of American literary history, not as an egregious undermining of who we are and what we represent, as some have… See more details below

Overview

The Oprah Affect explores the cultural impact of Oprah’s Book Club, particularly in light of debates about the definition and purpose of literature in American culture. For the critics collected here, Oprah’s Book Club stands, in the context of American literary history, not as an egregious undermining of who we are and what we represent, as some have maintained, but as the latest manifestation of a tradition that encourages symbiotic relationships between readers and texts. Powered by women writers and readers, novels in this tradition attract crowds, sell well, and make unabashed appeals to emotion. The essays consider the interlocking issues of affect, affinity, accessibility, and activism in the context of this tradition. Juxtaposing book history; reading practices; literary analysis; feminist criticism; and communication, religious, political, and cultural studies; the contributors map a range of possibilities for further research on Oprah’s Book Club. A complete chronological list of Book Club picks is included.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791476161
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
11/06/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
357
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction
Jaime Harker and Cecilia Konchar Farr

1. Oprah in the Public Library
Juliette Wells and Virginia Wells

2. Talking Readers
Cecilia Konchar Farr

3. Reading Religiously: The Ritual Practices of Oprah’s Book Club
Kathryn Lofton

4. The Romance of Reading Like Oprah
Yung-Hsing Wu

5. Oprah’s Book Selections: Teleliterature for The Oprah Winfrey Show
R. Mark Hall

6. Resisting Paradise: Toni Morrison, Oprah Winfrey, and the Middlebrow Audience
Michael Perry

7. Oprah’s Book Club and the Politics of Cross-Racial Empathy
Kimberly Chabot Davis

8. Beware the Furrow of the Middlebrow: Searching for Toni Morrison’s Paradise on The Oprah Winfrey Show
Timothy Aubry

9. “Did Isabel Allende Write This Book for Me?”: Oprah’s Book Club Reads Daughter of Fortune
Ana Patricia Rodríguez

10. The Trouble with Happy Endings: Conflicting Narratives in Oprah’s Book Club
Kelley Penfield Lewis

11. Your Book Changed My Life: Everyday Literary Criticism and Oprah’s Book Club
Kate Douglas

12. Correcting Oprah: Jonathan Franzen and the Uses of Literature in the Therapeutic Age
Kevin Quirk

13. The Way We Read Now: Oprah Winfrey, Intellectuals, and Democracy
Simon Stow

14. Everything Old Is New Again: Oprah’s Book Club Returns with the Classics
Kathleen Rooney

Afterword: Oprah, James Frey, and the Problem of the Literary
Jaime Harker

List of Contributors
Oprah’s Book Club List
Index

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