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October 10, 2015

Oprah chooses Poitier memoir for book club

by Julia Ward, posted Jan 26th 2007 8:36PM
Sidney PoitierOprah's Book Club is back. Like a phoenix from the ashes of the James Frey debacle, Oprah has returned, and this time she's got a veritable saint by her side in the form of acclaimed actor and activist Sidney Poitier. When your book club's burned by a guy who made a bunch of crap up, what better way to go than with the autobiography of a person who has lived most of his adult life in the public eye. It also doesn't hurt that the guy's golden. Short of some cantankerous ghostwriter coming forward, Poitier and his autobiographical tome The Measure of a Man are beyond criticism. He also lacks any particular literary pretenses so he's not going to pull a Jonathan Franzen, who requested that his book The Corrections be struck from the Winfrey record.

Poitier's book combines memories of his stage and film career with his childhood stories and reflections on racism and religion. His publisher reports that while Poitier had "editorially help" with the book, it was largely written by him. For what it's worth, Oprah says she put the book club on hiatus not because of the James Frey controversy, but because she was busy setting the curriculum for her school in South Africa.

Measure of a Man is a safe choice, but it's a worthwhile one. I've loved Sidney Poitier since I saw him whip those cockney teens into shape in To Sir, With Love. Well-played, Ms. Winfrey, well-played. You can save JT LeRoy for the next round.

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I am NOT a fan of Sidney Poitier - he met my mother many years ago in the Bahamas and was very rude... Oprah, you can do better than that stuck-up old has been Sidney Poitier!

January 27 2007 at 5:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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