Movie Rights? Oprah's Book Club 2.0 Announces New Selection, Slave Era-Set 'Invention Of Wings' From Author Of 'The Secret Life of Bees'

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by Natasha Greeves
December 10, 2013 6:10 PM
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OWN: Oprah Winfrey NetworkO, The Oprah Magazine and Oprah.com announced today the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection, The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd.  

Kidd also wrote The Secret Life of Bees, which became a feature film in 2008, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, produced by Will Smith, with Jada Pinkett Smith as executive producer, and starring Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, Sophie Okonedo, Alicia Keys and Dakota Fanning.

Might The Invention Of Wings, which won't be available in bookstores until January 7, 2014, follow the same path to the screen? It's the right time for since its subject matter suits current film trends. And by that I mean the novel is set in the early 19th century USA and is centered around the life of a slave, at least in part.

Here's a synopsis:

Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women. Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old slave Hetty, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love. As the stories build to a riveting climax, Hetty will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister as one of the early pioneers in the drive to abolish slavery.

“The moment I finished ‘The Invention of Wings,’ I knew this had to be the next Book Club selection,” said Oprah Winfrey in a press statement. “These strong female characters represent the women that have shaped our history and, through Sue’s imaginative storytelling, give us a new perspective on slavery, injustice and the search for freedom.” 

“I’m thrilled and honored that Oprah Winfrey chose my novel as her new book club selection,” said Sue Monk Kidd. “After researching and writing The Invention of Wings for the past four years, I can’t tell you how exciting it is to launch the novel with Oprah’s Book Club 2.0.  I’m immensely grateful.”

In addition to being available in bookstores nationwide beginning January 7, 2014, Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 special digital edition of The Invention of Wings, with exclusive content including a reader’s group guide and Winfrey’s notes on her favorite passages, will be available for Amazon Kindle, NOOK, on iBooks, Google Play, Kobo and everywhere e-books are sold.

The cross-platform book club’s third selection kicks off in an interview in the January issue of O, The Oprah Magazine (on sale nationwide December 17), where Oprah interviews Kidd about her inspiration for the book, how she was able to get inside the characters minds, and also discusses why the book resonated personally with her.

As readers complete their journey through “The Invention of Wings,” a follow-up exclusive interview with Oprah and Kidd will be broadcast on Super Soul Sunday, Oprah.com, Facebook.com/OWNtv and Sirius XM’s Oprah Radio channel (Sirius 204, XM 107 with Sirius Premier) early next year.

Last year's selection was The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis - her debut, set during the Great Migration, as seeing through the trials of one indomitable heroine (Hattie) and her family.

Here's Oprah making the announcement today:

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1 Comment

  • Li Ling | December 12, 2013 7:32 PMReply

    This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved.
    It's a book involved war, humanism and history. I would like to see.

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