The second Oprah 2.0 pick, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by Ayana Mathis, arrives on the NYT Hardcover Fiction best seller list this week at #10 (oddly, the annotation does not mention the Oprah connection — ”Fifty-some years in the life of an African-American family, starting with Hattie Shepherd, who leaves Georgia for Philadelphia in 1923.”)
It rose to #41 on the USA Today list from #95 last week.
Mathis received another strong endorsement after the Oprah pick, in the form of a rave from the NYT‘s difficult-to-please critic, Michiko Kakutani. The Washington Post’s Ron Charles is also impressed, but there are at least two dissenting voices, including the Wall Street Journal and a particularly scathing review in the L.A. Times, which says the book is,
…a callow work by a writer of still unpolished talents. Our great novelists give us fully rounded characters whose lives reflect the limitations, the possibilities and the wonder of the times in which they live. Mathis gives us a one-dimensional portrait of their suffering — and little else.