America’s favorite literary tastemaker has spoken once again.
Oprah Winfrey announced the latest selection for her ever-popular book club on Monday: The Water Dancer, the first novel from celebrated author Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Winfrey made the announcement on CBS This Morning, where she called the novel “one of the best books I have ever read in my entire life.”
“I was enthralled, I was devastated. I felt hope, I felt gratitude, I felt joy,” she said. “That's why I think it has everything that a novel is supposed to [have].”
JUST IN: @Oprah's highly-anticipated new book club selection is #TheWaterDancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates! 📚— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) September 23, 2019
The book tells the story of a young man born into bondage on a plantation, who is gifted with a mysterious power.
"It is one of the best books I've ever read." -- Oprah pic.twitter.com/J8HnR5GH3c
Coates, who accompanied Winfrey on the show, called the selection of his book “a tremendous, tremendous honor,” noting that previous authors chosen for the book club have included Toni Morrison and Colson Whitehead.
The Water Dancer, an account of the Underground Railroad that incorporates elements of fantasy, is Coates’ debut novel, but it’s not his first foray into the world of fiction. Coates is the head author of the Black Panther comic book series.
Winfrey’s latest selection is the first in her partnership with Apple. She’ll host a show based on the book club on Apple TV+, with the episode featuring Coates premiering on Nov. 1.
The Water Dancer is set for publication by One World on Tuesday.
Michael Schaub is an Austin, Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.