September 21, 2008 in Features

Oprah chooses ‘Sawtelle’ for book club

By Don Babwin Associated Press
 

Oprah Winfrey has chosen David Wroblewski’s “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” as her latest book club pick, calling it the “best novel I’ve read in a long, long, long time.”

“I think this book is right up there with the greatest American novels ever written, I really do,” Winfrey said at the end of her show Friday.

She raved for several minutes about the novel, comparing it to the work of John Steinbeck and Harper Lee, author of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Wroblewski’s debut novel is already one of the summer’s hottest reads, ranking ninth on this week’s New York Times fiction best-seller list.

It is certain to get a lot hotter with one of the biggest boosts any book can get: a little sticker on the cover proclaiming it as one of Winfrey’s selections.

“Edgar Sawtelle,” which Wroblewski worked on for about a decade, is the story of a mute boy who communicates best with his dogs.

The author appeared via satellite on Friday’s program, telling Winfrey from his home in Colorado about writing the book in restaurants and waiting areas and at picnic tables whenever he could, as he worked full-time as a software developer.

Wroblewski said he has been amazed by the reception the book has received, adding that he wasn’t even sure he would find a publisher for it.

“I expected there would be a few readers out there who would connect with it, but what happened this summer was not on my radar at all,” he said.

Winfrey, saying the book was part mystery, cautioned viewers to avoid reading the inside cover because she felt that gave away too much of the story.

She said that sometime in the next few months Wroblewski will take part in a live Q&A Web cast session with her for the nearly 2 million members of her book club.

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