General News

Oprah skips dinner with author

By:
Oct 24, 2001 | 11:03am EDT

Oprah Winfrey has decided to cancel a dinner with Jonathan Franzen, the author of her latest book club selection, The Corrections, Reuters reports. Winfrey normally dines with the author and several selected viewers on her show.

The spat started after Franzen was quoted in the Oct. 12 edition of The Oregonian as saying that, as an independent writer, he felt uncomfortable with the Oprah logo on the dust jacket of his book. "I know it's Oprah's Book Club, but it's an implied endorsement, both for me and her."

Franzen's novel is a National Book Award nominee and was a best seller before Winfrey's choice was announced on Sept. 24. Franzen's publishers, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, agreed to release some copies of the book with the Oprah label and some without. More than 500,000 are now in print.

Winfrey responded in a statement, "It is never my intention to make anyone uncomfortable or cause anyone conflict. We have decided to skip the dinner and we're moving on to the next book."

In a statement issued Tuesday, Franzen said he was never conflicted and was in fact delighted at the selection. He also said he was sorry to learn that there would not be a dinner.

"I'm sorry if, because of my inexperience, I expressed myself poorly or unwisely," he said.

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