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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Monday, January 29, 2007 11:47 am
Sidney Wins the Oprah
Posted by: Keir Graff

So, as many of you already know, Oprah finally put an end to the suspense and announced her new book club selection: Sidney Poitier’s The Measure of a Man (I made this starred review public so you can read it even if you’re not a Booklist Online subscriber).

Some people have speculated that Oprah is hoping that the dignified, unimpeachably credentialed Poitier will provide a tonic after the James Frey fiasco. But who knows if Poitier can withstand the kind of scrutiny that attends the Oprah authors? Many an author has cracked under the pressure.

I’m guessing even Poiter has some kind of scandal lurking in his closet. Maybe he really wasn’t the first African-American man to win an Academy Award for Best Actor — I’m just spitballing here — or maybe he’s only been the recipient of two prestigious lifetime achievement awards, not three. Perhaps his directorial resume has been padded to make it seem as if he starred in, directed, or wrote more films than he really did (40, 9, and 4, or so his bio claims). He looks good on paper, but only time will tell if Sidney Poitier’s up to the challenge of being an Oprah Author.

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One Response to “Sidney Wins the Oprah”
  1. maggie Says:

    Let’s look at her motivation on this one…He is an inspiring African-American male, who will not seek financial gain from the promotion of his book. Where’s my cutting edge Oprah? Not that I don’t like the new non-fiction Oprah, but I sure do miss my male-diminishing, new-fiction, Oprah. ;)

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