Reading Oprah

How Oprah's Book Club Changed the Way America Reads

By Cecilia Konchar Farr

Subjects: American Studies
Paperback : 9780791462584, 178 pages, November 2004
Hardcover : 9780791462577, 178 pages, November 2004

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

Foreword: Elizabeth Long

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Oprah's Reading Revolution

1. Reading Oprah

 

The Book Club Begins
To Enlighten and Entertain
The Oprah Effect
The Oprah Writers
Oprah's Choices
What Women Want

 

2. Oprah Reading

 

The Talking Book
The Way West
The Middlebrow Novel
The Middlebrow Book Club
Reading Lessons

 

Deep End of the Ocean
Song of Solomon

 

Talk Reading

 

Paradise
Song of Solomon

 

3. Readers Talking

 

Group Reading
The Talking Life
Oprahfication

 

Black and Blue
Open House

 

Oprah's American Story
The Elegant Balance

 

The Bluest Eye

 

4. Talking Readers

 

The Corrections
McLiterature
Claiming Cultural Capital
Learning to Read
The List
Reading for Class
Shifting Standards
Anticipatory Marketing

 

Conclusion: The Triumph of Cultural Democracy

 

Cultural Democracy

 

White Oleander

 

Appendices

Notes

Works Cited

Index

An analysis of how Oprah's Book Club has changed America's reading habits.

Description

Oprah's Book Club sparked a revolution among readers by bringing serious contemporary novels to the attention of a wider audience. The Oprah's Book Club seal on a book led to instant fame and bestseller status for authors—but, how did Oprah change the way America reads and values books? Reading Oprah suggests that Oprah initiated an all-important mantra—trust readers. Not only did the public start reading accessible novels, but they also would snatch up formidable titles and read them with a growing confidence and skill. Then, they would talk about them, giving them a life beyond the reader and text.

Cecilia Konchar Farr is Professor of English and Women's Studies and Chair of the English Department at the College of St. Catherine.