Borrowed Sept 2008 – University Library

I do get some interesting books passing through my hands at work and I baggsied this one, which is a collection of esssays looking at various aspects of Oprah Winfrey, from her appeal to older white women through to quite a lot of stuff about her book clubs and magazine.

All of the articles were quite academic but easily assimilated by the educated reader. The theme that interestingly came through many of the articles was Winfrey’s concentration on the personal, rather than the societal. Thus, people in difficult situations are exhorted to, in effect, change their reaction to the situation, pull themselves up by their bootstraps, rather than work within society and community to change the situation (even when this is as big a situation as institutionalised racism, sexism etc). Again, with her book club, the focus was on a personal reaction to each novel, an echoing in the reader’s own life and an opportunity to think about and change it, even when the novel treated large themes of povery, racism etc. This is, of course, seen as a major limitation, and one which I hadn’t had pulled out for me before.

Interesting stuff.

I have a day of flexi-leave today and this was on the list of Books I Must Finish Today. Watch this space for more…!