Over her long and distinguished multi-hyphenate career, Oprah Winfrey has quickly become a major force in the publishing world thanks to her massively popular Oprah’s Book Club. Having your book chosen by Oprah is a dream-come-true for many authors, and the club has boosted—for better and for worse—the profiles of up-and-coming writers like Colson Whitehead (The Underground Railroad), James Frey (A Million Little Pieces), and Jonathan Franzen (The Corrections). Now, Winfrey’s working her special brand of publicizing magic again with her latest book club selection: Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue.
Behold the Dreamers, Mbue’s 2016 debut, follows the lives of a young immigrant couple from Cameroon as they try to get by in 2008 financial crisis-era New York City. The book, Winfrey explained in her video announcement, explores “race and class, the economy, culture, immigration and the danger of the us-versus-them mentality” but also “family love, the pursuit of happiness, and what home really means.”
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Mbue, unsurprisingly, was over the moon about Winfrey’s choice to include her in this legendary circle of authors. “Fifteen years ago, I walked into a public library and borrowed my first Oprah’s Book Club selection — Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon,” she said. Deeply inspired, she “began writing without thinking much of where my writing would lead me.” Welcome to the club, Ms. Mbue!
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