Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
One writer hit the literary lottery today. Oprah anointed Hattie Mathis with the book industry’s most lucrative label: Oprah chose her novel, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, as the latest pick for the Oprah Book Club 2.0.
I had heard great things about Cheryl Strayed’s Wild long before Oprah picked it. Now Strayed enjoys paid speaking engagements, movie deals and future book contracts. I hope the same holds true for Hattie Mathis. I just learned about The Twelve Tribes of Hattie this morning along with the rest of the world.
The book goes on sale tomorrow, and I can’t wait to dive into it, and then write a review here. It will be fun to watch it on the sales charts, too. Today, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is ranked 89,309 on Amazon. Within a few weeks, I’m betting that it will be in the top 10 on all of the bestseller lists.
Good for Mathis. Reviews of this book (Publisher’s Weekly and the like) say it’s great and full of rich prose to guide its compelling characters and plot. The narrative is told through different points of view–kind of a like several short stories that come together at the end and make sense as a whole. Here’s more about the book from the publisher, Knopf:
“In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd, hoping for a chance at a better life, flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia with her twin babies. Instead, she watches helplessly as they succumb to an illness that a few pennies might have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave, fearing a show of tenderness would inadequately prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their lives.”
Are you into Oprah’s picks? Do you share her taste? Check out the complete list of Oprah’s Book Club selections to find out how many you’ve read. I’ve read 18–and one of my favorites is still She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb. I also loved the classic East of Eden by John Steinbeck. Oh, and Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, too. I could go on and on.