Like most great controversies, it all started with Oprah.
Back in 2001, Jonathan Franzen’s The Correctionswas selected forOprah’s Book Club, at a time when OBC was nirvana for publishers—an immediate launching pad to record-breaking sales and endless press. Franzenshot some b-roll with O, but his invitation for an official sit-downwas rescinded after a series of interviews in which he expressed reservations about the pick. “I had some hope of actually reaching a male audience and I’ve heard more than one reader in signing lines now at bookstores say ‘If I hadn’t heard you, I would have been put off by the fact that it is an Oprah pick,”’ Franzen toldNPRat the time. “Those are male readers speaking.”
Oprah and Franzen eventually madeup—ever a badass, in 2010 she selected his novel Freedom for her book club and the duo intellectually hugged it out on camera—but even after a…
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