The most recent Oprah 2.0 Book Club pick, Cynthia Bond’s debut novel Ruby (RH/Hogarth; RH Audio; RH large type announced for March 17; OverDrive Sample). announced two weeks ago, reached a high of #98 on Amazon’s sales rankings then dropped out of the Top 100 (it hit the March 1 NYT Trade Fiction list at #7).
After a feature about the author on NPR’s Morning Edition yesterday, it rose again, this time to #82. The story focuses on the author’s financial struggles as a single mother while she worked to complete the book. Bond was widely compared to Toni Morrison at the time of the novel’s publication, which racked up a number of starred reviews, and received fairly wide attention for a literary debut, but sales did little to change the author’s life until Oprah came along.
And more is coming. NPR notes, “Because today’s market is much more segmented now than when her original book club began, Winfrey is personally promoting Ruby in her magazine, on her cable network and in interviews.”
The upcoming March issue of O Magazine features Oprah’s interview with the author (sneak peek here). By the way, we’re a little scared by that cover. Please don’t tell us that Oprah has discovered the life-changing magic of tidying up (looking more closely, Oprah’s approach is clearly more American, with rules like, “Know What It’s Worth” before throwing anything out.)
Ruby is a first in a projected trilogy, which may be a good thing for Oprah, who bought both the movie and TV rights.