Oprah’s Book Club Pick: FREEDOM by Jonathan Franzen

It looks like Oprah and Jonathan Franzen have kissed and made up. Oprah announced on her show today that she’s selected his new book, Freedom, for her book club. She picked another of his books for the club in 2001, The Corrections, but, after Franzen made comments dissing Oprah and her viewers, he was uninvited from the show. Now, 9 years later, it seems like they’ve patched things up.

Freedom is about the trials and tribulations of a suburban Minnesota family. Franzen makes observations about the American middle class, the political divide in this country, and “the way we live now.”

The funny thing about Oprah picking Freedom is that it’s both surprising and predictable at the same time. Surprising because of their previous feud, but not surprising because Freedom is the current critics darling. Rave reviews in the New York Times, featured on the cover of Time magazine, given to President Obama while he was on vacation—Freedom has not suffered from a lack of publicity. So much so, in fact, that several prominent authors have cried foul. Jennifer Weiner and Jodi Picoult have both taken exception to what they see as a double standard—when a man writes about family, it’s perceived as important; when a woman writes about family, it’s dismissed as chick-lit. Weiner does have a good sense of humor about it, though. She recently tweeted, “Daydream du jour: how awesome would it be if Franzen sat on Oprah’s couch and said he owes it all to THE SECRET?”

So what do you think about Oprah picking Freedom? Do you plan to participate in the book club?

Follow me on Twitter @kristendaemons

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