As suggested here earlier in the month by booksellers, a just-published paperback edition of Imbolo Mbue’s debut novel Behold the Dreamers is the latest “summer” pick for Oprah’s Book Club. Winfrey declares — in another videotaped announcement first posted at Amazon, which continues its undeclared/undefined but clearly official and close relationship with Winfrey — “It’s about race and class, the economy, culture, immigration and the danger of the us versus them mentality. And underneath it all pumps the heart and soul of family love, the pursuit of happiness and what home really means.” The official press release touts Amazon alone as well; at some point booksellers will get more pointed in their questions about supporting Oprah picks: “Oprah.com and Amazon.com will feature video clips from Oprah’s interview with Imbolo Mbue as well as a reading guide. To start reading a free sample of the Kindle book, customers can visit: Amazon.com/kindle-beholdthedreamers. Behold the Dreamers is available for purchase on Amazon.com/oprahsbookclub, on Audible and wherever books are sold nationwide.”
The book won the PEN/Faulkner award earlier this year and was well reviewed, but did not fulfill expectations in its initial hardcover life. Acquired in a pre-empt for seven figures, it sold just over 15,000 copies in hardcover in outlets monitored by Bookscan.