NEW YORK (AP) — When Oprah Winfrey started her book club nearly 30 years ago, she would sometimes notify authors by looking up their numbers in the phone book — when phone books were in common use — and calling them. .
For her latest selection, Winfrey broke the news to author Nathan Hill in modern style: He told his publisher, Alfred A. Arranged with Knopf to come in during the Zoom meeting and tell Hill that they had optioned her novel “Wellness,” a feature length novel. , a 600-page story about a embattled married couple in Chicago.
In a video shared with The Associated Press, Hill talks with her publicist at Knopf about the anticipation and promotion of “Wellness,” which is due out this week. A new box suddenly appears and Winfrey places Hill’s novel in front of it.
“I have an idea, why not get it selected for Oprah’s book club?” She says.
“You’ve got to be kidding,” replied an astonished Hill.
“What. A book!” Winfrey told her, adding that the novel made her nostalgic for Chicago, where she used to film her talk show. “You are an incredible writer for our times, what you are able to do with language, with your words. It is very powerful, very dynamic.”
“Wellness” is Winfrey’s 102nd book club pick, and her first since choosing Abraham Varghese’s “The Covenant of Water” in May. Announcing her selection Tuesday, Winfrey called Hill’s book a “modern take on love, marriage, and society’s obsession with improving nearly every aspect of our lives — and the impact of technology and social media on our culture and our lives.” ” told.
Winfrey said, “This brilliant novel will make you think about the truth of our lives and the stories we tell ourselves and each other.”
“Wellness” is Hill’s first book since her acclaimed debut book “The Knicks” in 2016. The story of one man’s quest to learn more about his long-lost mother, “The Nix” received the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Best First Novel.
OprahDaily.com, the online hub of Winfrey’s book club, will include additional details about Hill and her work.
“To have Oprah Winfrey crash into a Zoom meeting to tell me she’s chosen my novel for her book club would be the biggest — and most surreal — shock of my life,” Hill said in a statement. “Thank you to Oprah for this wonderful honor and for supporting writers for so many years. Their book club is a gift to readers, and it even includes some of my own literary idols. To be in such company is both humbling and heart-warming.”
Hillel Itali, The Associated Press