The Book Club is Back!
On Tuesday, August 2nd, Oprah Winfrey made her first book club selection in over a year. She selected Colson Whitehead’s brilliant novel The Underground Railroad.
Ron Charles described THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD as an “engine of courage,” and praised Whitehead’s creation of the observant and determined Cora. He writes that THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD “reanimates the slave narrative, disrupts our settled sense of the past and stretches the ligaments of history right into our own era.”
This is the fifth selection in Oprah’s revamped Book Club 2.0 and the first pick since February 2015 when she selected RUBY by Cynthia Bond.
From prize-winning, bestselling author Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.
In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor—engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.
Like the protagonist of Gulliver’s Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey—hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre–Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.
Love Warrior is the story of one marriage, but it is also the story of the healing that is possible for any of us when we refuse to settle for good enough and begin to face pain and love head-on. This astonishing memoir reveals how internalizing our culture’s standards of masculinity and femininity can make it impossible for men and women to ever really know one another—and it captures the beauty that unfolds when one couple commits to unlearning everything they’ve been taught so that they can finally, after thirteen years of marriage, fall in love.
Love Warrior is a gorgeous and inspiring tale of how we are born to be warriors: strong, powerful, and brave; able to confront the pain and claim the love that exists for us all. This chronicle of a beautiful, brutal journey speaks to anyone who yearns for deeper, truer relationships and a more abundant, authentic life.
“Love Warrior reaches a depth of truth and power and emotional gravity that is rarely seen in the world. Glennon’s story is something beyond merely inspirational; it is epic.” —Elizabeth Gilbert
“About what it means to wrestle with love, hurt, addiction, vulnerability, intimacy, and grace. Love Warrior blew me away. We can all find pieces of our own stories reflected in Glennon’s powerful words.” –Brené Brown
“Moving and brilliant and funny and shocking and heartbreaking and inspiring. A big, stunning, buoyant, honest, raw glimpse into the life of an astonishing woman.” –Rob Bell