Oprah's Book Club
Oprah's Book Club was a book discussion club segment of the American talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, highlighting books chosen by host Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey started the book club in 1996, selecting a new book a novel, for viewers to read and discuss each month. In total the club recommended 70 books during its 15 years. Due to the book club's widespread popularity, many obscure titles have become popular bestsellers, increasing sales in some cases by as many as several million copies. Al Greco, a Fordham University marketing professor, estimated the total sales of the 69 "Oprah editions" at over 55 million copies; the club has seen several literary controversies, such as Jonathan Franzen's public dissatisfaction with his novel The Corrections having been chosen by Winfrey, the now infamous incident of James Frey's memoir, A Million Little Pieces, a 2005 selection, being outed as entirety fabricated. The latter controversy resulted in Frey and publisher Nan Talese being confronted and publicly shamed by Winfrey in a praised live televised episode of Winfrey's show.
On Friday, June 1, 2012, Oprah announced the launch of Oprah's Book Club 2.0 with Wild by Cheryl Strayed. The new version of Oprah's Book Club, a joint project between OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network and O: The Oprah Winfrey Magazine, will incorporate the use of various social media platforms and e-readers; the book club's first selection on September 17, 1996, was the recently published novel The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard. Winfrey discontinued the book club for one year in 2002, stating that she could not keep up with the required reading while still searching for contemporary novels that she enjoyed. After its revival in 2003, books were selected on a more limited basis Winfrey returned to fiction with her 2007 selections of The Road by Cormac McCarthy in March and Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides in June. Shortly after its being chosen, The Road was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Winfrey conducted the first television interview with McCarthy, a famously reclusive author, on June 5, 2007.
On October 5, 2007, the latest selection was announced as Love in the Time of Cholera, a 1985 novel by Nobel Prize laureate Gabriel García Márquez furthering not only the influence of the author in North America, but that of his translator Edith Grossman. Another work by Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude, was a previous selection for the book club in 2004; the last club selection was a special edition of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. It had disappointingly low sales figures. In Reading with Oprah: The Book Club That Changed America, Kathleen Rooney describes Winfrey as "a serious American intellectual who pioneered the use of electronic media television and the Internet, to take reading—a decidedly non-technological and individual act—and highlight its social elements and uses in such a way to motivate millions of erstwhile non-readers to pick up books." Business Week stated: Perhaps the most astonishing aspect of the Oprah phenomenon is how outsized her power is compared with that of other market movers.
Some observers suggest that Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's The Daily Show could be No. 2. Other proven arm-twisters include Fox News's Sean Hannity, National Public Radio's Terry Gross, radio personality Don Imus, CBS' 60 Minutes, but no one comes close to Oprah's clout: Publishers estimate that her power to sell a book is anywhere from 20 to 100 times that of any other media personality. In 2009 it was reported that the influence of Winfrey's book club had spread to Brazil with picks like A New Earth dominating Brazil's best-seller list; the club generated so much success for some books. This subset includes The Deep End of the The Reader. At the show's conclusion in May 2011, Nielsen BookScan created a list of the top-10 bestsellers from the club's final 10 years; the top four with sales figures as of May 2011: Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth, 3,370,000 copies James Frey, A Million Little Pieces, 2,695,500 copies Elie Wiesel, Night, 2,021,000 copies Cormac McCarthy, The Road, 1,385,000 copiesIn a 2014 paper by economist Craig L. Garthwaite published in American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, it was reported that while the book club increased sales of individual titles in the list, it caused a short-term overall decrease in sales for the book industry as a whole after each selection was announced.
Since Oprah's selections were longer and more difficult classics that demanded greater time and energy to read, those people who were reading Oprah's books were not buying their usual fare of genre books, "there were statistically significant decreases for mysteries and action/adventure novels. Romances saw a sales decline," following an Oprah endorsement. In the 12 weeks following an endorsement, "weekly adult fiction book sales decreased by a statistically significant 2.5 percent." The club has received critical commentaries from the literary community. Scott Stossel, an editor at The Atlantic, wrote: "There is something so relentlessly therapeutic, so consciously self-improving about the book club that it seems antithetical to discussions of serious literature. Literature should derange the senses. Jonathan Franzen felt conflicted about his book The Corrections being chosen as a book club selection. After the announcement was made, he expressed distaste with being in the company of other Oprah's Book Club authors, saying in an interview that Winfrey had "picked some good books, but she's picked enough schmaltzy, one-dimensional ones that I cringe, myself thoug
Edwidge Danticat is a Haitian-American novelist and short story writer. Danticat was born in Haiti; when she was two years old, her father André immigrated to New York, to be followed two years by her mother Rose. This left Danticat and her younger brother named André, to be raised by her aunt and uncle; when asked in an interview about her traditions as a child, she included storytelling and studying school material as all part of growing up. Although her formal education in Haiti was in French, she spoke Haitian Creole at home. While still in Haiti, Danticat began writing at nine years old. At the age of 12, she moved to Brooklyn, New York, to join her parents in a Haitian-American neighborhood; as an immigrant teenager, Edwidge's disorientation in her new surroundings was a source of discomfort for her, she turned to literature for solace. Danticat did not realize the racism until she went to college because of the protection of her community. Two years she published her first writing in English, "A Haitian-American Christmas: Cremace and Creole Theatre," in New Youth Connections, a citywide magazine written by teenagers published by Youth Communication.
She wrote another story about her immigration experience for New Youth Connections, "A New World Full of Strangers". In the introduction to Starting With I, an anthology of stories from the magazine, Danticat wrote, "When I was done with the piece, I felt that my story was unfinished, so I wrote a short story, which became a book, my first novel: Breath, Memory…Writing for New Youth Connections had given me a voice. My silence was destroyed indefinitely."After graduating from Clara Barton High School in Brooklyn, New York, Danticat entered Barnard College in New York City. She had intended to study to become a nurse, but her love of writing won out and she received a BA in French literature She received a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Brown University in 1993. In 1993, she earned a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Brown University—her thesis, entitled "My turn in the fire – an abridged novel", was the basis for her novel Breath, Memory, published by Soho Press in 1994.
Four years it became an Oprah's Book Club selection. The literary journal Granta asked booksellers and literary critics to nominate who they believed to be the country's best young author; the standards were that the person must be an American citizen under the age of 40 and must have published at least one novel or collection of short stories before May 31, 1995. In 1997, at the age of 27, with 19 other finalists, Danticat was named one of the country's best young authors. Since completing her MFA, Danticat has taught creative writing at the New York University and the University of Miami, she has worked with filmmakers Patricia Benoit and Jonathan Demme, on projects on Haitian art and documentaries about Haïti. Her short stories have been anthologized several times, her work has been translated into numerous other languages, including Japanese, Korean, Italian and Swedish. Danticat is a strong advocate for issues affecting Haitians abroad and at home. In 2009, she lent her voice and words to Poto Mitan: Haitian Women Pillars of the Global Economy, a documentary about the impact of globalization on five women from different generations.
Danticat is married to Fedo Boyer in 2002. She has two daughters and Leila. Although Danticat resides in the United States, she still considers Haiti home. To date, she still has always felt as if she never left it. Three themes are prominent in various analyses of Edwidge Danticat's work: national identity, mother-daughter relationships, diasporic politics. Scholars of Danticat's work examine the theme of national identity. In Breath, Memory, Danticat explores the relationship between women and the nationalist agenda of the state during the Duvalier regime. Throughout the novel, as generations of women "test" their daughters, by penetrating their vaginas with a finger to confirm their virginity, they "become enforcers," or proxies, of the state's "violence and victimization" of black women's bodies, similar to the paramilitary Tonton Macoutes. However, while the women of Breath, Memory replicate "state-sanctioned" control and violation of women's bodies through acts of violence, they "disrupt and challenge the masculinist, nationalist discourse" of the state by using their bodies "as deadly weapons".
Evidence for this claim can be drawn from Martine's suicide, seen as a tragic exhibition of freedom, releasing her body, mind, from its past traumas. Additionally, the novel demonstrates some inherent difficulties of creating a diasporic identity, as illustrated through Sophie's struggle between uniting herself with her heritage and abandoning what she perceives to be the damaging tradition of'testing,' suggesting the impossibility of creating a resolute creolized personhood. Danticat's work, The Farming of Bones, speaks to the stories of those who survived the 1937 massacre, the effects of that trauma on Haitian identity. Overall, Danticat makes known the history of her nation while diversifying conceptions of the country beyond those of victimization. Danticat's Breath, Memory explores the centrality of the mother-daughter relationship to self-identity and self-expression. Sophie's experiences mirror those of her mother's Martine. Just as Martine was forced to submit to a virginity test at the hand of her own mother, she forces the same on Sophie after discovering
Race (human categorization)
A race is a grouping of humans based on shared physical or social qualities into categories viewed as distinct by society. First used to refer to speakers of a common language and to denote national affiliations, by the 17th century the term race began to refer to physical traits. Modern scholarship regards race as a social construct, an identity, assigned based on rules made by society. While based on physical similarities within groups, race is not an inherent physical or biological quality. Social conceptions and groupings of races vary over time, involving folk taxonomies that define essential types of individuals based on perceived traits. Scientists consider biological essentialism obsolete, discourage racial explanations for collective differentiation in both physical and behavioral traits. Though there is a broad scientific agreement that essentialist and typological conceptualizations of race are untenable, scientists around the world continue to conceptualize race in differing ways, some of which have essentialist implications.
While some researchers use the concept of race to make distinctions among fuzzy sets of traits or observable differences in behaviour, others in the scientific community suggest that the idea of race is used in a naive or simplistic way, argue that, among humans, race has no taxonomic significance by pointing out that all living humans belong to the same species, Homo sapiens, subspecies, Homo sapiens sapiens. Since the second half of the 20th century, the association of race with the ideologies and theories of scientific racism has led to the use of the word race itself becoming problematic. Although still used in general contexts, race has been replaced by less ambiguous and loaded terms: populations, ethnic groups, or communities, depending on context. Modern scholarship views racial categories as constructed, that is, race is not intrinsic to human beings but rather an identity created by dominant groups, to establish meaning in a social context; this involves the subjugation of groups defined as racially inferior, as in the one-drop rule used in the 19th-century United States to exclude those with any amount of African ancestry from the dominant racial grouping, defined as "white".
Such racial identities reflect the cultural attitudes of imperial powers dominant during the age of European colonial expansion. This view rejects the notion. Although commonalities in physical traits such as facial features, skin color, hair texture comprise part of the race concept, the latter is a social distinction rather than an inherently biological one. Other dimensions of racial groupings include shared history and language. For instance, African-American English is a language spoken by many African Americans in areas of the United States where racial segregation exists. Furthermore, people self-identify as members of a race for political reasons; when people define and talk about a particular conception of race, they create a social reality through which social categorization is achieved. In this sense, races are said to be social constructs; these constructs develop within various legal and sociopolitical contexts, may be the effect, rather than the cause, of major social situations.
While race is understood to be a social construct by many, most scholars agree that race has real material effects in the lives of people through institutionalized practices of preference and discrimination. Socioeconomic factors, in combination with early but enduring views of race, have led to considerable suffering within disadvantaged racial groups. Racial discrimination coincides with racist mindsets, whereby the individuals and ideologies of one group come to perceive the members of an outgroup as both racially defined and morally inferior; as a result, racial groups possessing little power find themselves excluded or oppressed, while hegemonic individuals and institutions are charged with holding racist attitudes. Racism has led to many instances including slavery and genocide. In some countries, law enforcement uses race to profile suspects; this use of racial categories is criticized for perpetuating an outmoded understanding of human biological variation, promoting stereotypes. Because in some societies racial groupings correspond with patterns of social stratification, for social scientists studying social inequality, race can be a significant variable.
As sociological factors, racial categories may in part reflect subjective attributions, self-identities, social institutions. Scholars continue to debate the degrees to which racial categories are biologically warranted and constructed. For example, in 2008, John Hartigan, Jr. argued for a view of race that focused on culture, but which does not ignore the potential relevance of biology or genetics. Accordingly, the racial paradigms employed in different disciplines vary in their emphasis on biological reduction as contrasted with societal construction. In the social sciences, theoretical frameworks such as racial formation theory and critical race theory investigate implications of race as social construction by exploring how the images and assumptions of race are expressed in everyday life. A large body of scholarship has traced the relationships between the historical, social production of race in legal and criminal language, their effects on the policing and disproportionate incarceration of certain groups.
Groups of humans have always identified themselves as distinct from neighboring groups, but such differences have not always been understood to be natural and global. These features a
Haiti the Republic of Haiti and called Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola, east of Cuba in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea. It occupies the western three-eighths of the island. Haiti is 27,750 square kilometres in size and has an estimated 10.8 million people, making it the most populous country in the Caribbean Community and the second-most populous country in the Caribbean as a whole. The region was inhabited by the indigenous Taíno people. Spain landed on the island on 5 December 1492 during the first voyage of Christopher Columbus across the Atlantic; when Columbus landed in Haiti, he had thought he had found India or China. On Christmas Day 1492, Columbus's flagship the Santa Maria ran aground north of what is now Limonade; as a consequence, Columbus ordered his men to salvage what they could from the ship, he created the first European settlement in the Americas, naming it La Navidad after the day the ship was destroyed. The island was claimed by Spain, which ruled until the early 17th century.
Competing claims and settlements by the French led to the western portion of the island being ceded to France, which named it Saint-Domingue. Sugarcane plantations, worked by slaves brought from Africa, were established by colonists. In the midst of the French Revolution and free people of color revolted in the Haitian Revolution, culminating in the abolition of slavery and the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte's army at the Battle of Vertières. Afterward the sovereign state of Haiti was established on 1 January 1804—the first independent nation of Latin America and the Caribbean, the second republic in the Americas, the only nation in the world established as a result of a successful slave revolt; the rebellion that began in 1791 was led by a former slave and the first black general of the French Army, Toussaint Louverture, whose military genius and political acumen transformed an entire society of slaves into an independent country. Upon his death in a prison in France, he was succeeded by his lieutenant, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who declared Haiti's sovereignty and became the first Emperor of Haiti, Jacques I.
The Haitian Revolution lasted just over a dozen years. The Citadelle Laferrière is the largest fortress in the Americas. Henri Christophe—former slave and first king of Haiti, Henri I—built it to withstand a possible foreign attack, it is a founding member of the United Nations, Organization of American States, Association of Caribbean States, the International Francophonie Organisation. In addition to CARICOM, it is a member of the International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, it has the lowest Human Development Index in the Americas. Most in February 2004, a coup d'état originating in the north of the country forced the resignation and exile of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. A provisional government took control with security provided by the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti; the name Haiti comes from the indigenous Taíno language, the native name given to the entire island of Hispaniola to mean, "land of high mountains."
The h is silent in French and the ï in Haïti has a diacritical mark used to show that the second vowel is pronounced separately, as in the word naïve. In English, this rule for the pronunciation is disregarded, thus the spelling Haiti is used. There are different anglicizations for its pronunciation such as HIGH-ti, high-EE-ti and haa-EE-ti, which are still in use, but HAY-ti is the most widespread and best-established; the name was restored by Haitian revolutionary Jean-Jacques Dessalines as the official name of independent Saint-Domingue, as a tribute to the Amerindian predecessors. In French, Haiti's nickname is the "Pearl of the Antilles" because of both its natural beauty, the amount of wealth it accumulated for the Kingdom of France. At the time of European conquest, the island of Hispaniola, of which Haiti occupies the western three-eighths, was one of many Caribbean islands inhabited by the Taíno Native Americans, speakers of an Arawakan language called Taino, preserved in the Haitian Creole language.
The Taíno name for the entire island was Haiti. The people had migrated over centuries into the Caribbean islands from South America. Genetic studies show, they originated in Central and South America. After migrating to Caribbean islands, in the 15th century, the Taíno were pushed into the northeast Caribbean islands by the Caribs. In the Taíno societies of the Caribbean islands, the largest unit of political organization was led by a cacique, or chief, as the Europeans understood them; the island of Haiti was divided among five Caciquats: the Magua in the north east, the Marien in the north west, the Xaragua in the south west, the Maguana in the center region of Cibao and the Higuey in the south east. The caciquedoms were tributary kingdoms, with payment consisting of harvests. Taíno cultural artifacts include cave paintings in several locations in the country; these have become national symbols of tourist attractions. Modern-day Léogane started as a French colonial town in the southwest, is beside the former capital of the caciquedom of Xaragua.