“In a moment where our country roils with righteous anger and grief, Deacon King Kong reminds us that when we come together as a community in compassion and empathy, love triumphs,” Oprah Winfrey said on CBS This Morning

By Morgan Smith
June 16, 2020 05:35 PM
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Courtesy of Apple

Oprah Winfrey’s latest book club pick is here!

The legendary television personality, 66, announced her latest selection on Tuesday's CBS This Morning: Deacon King Kong by James McBride.

Set in a sprawling housing project in 1960s Brooklyn, Deacon King Kong starts with a crime: “Sportcoat,” a moonshine loving church deacon, shoots a local drug dealer in broad daylight. McBride's book details the ensuing chaos among the vibrant, complex characters in the neighborhood: the police officers and residents with hilarious nicknames, like "Hot Sausage" and "Sister Bum-Bum." It is a heartfelt exploration of faith, race and humanity immediately following the civil rights movement.

Speaking on CBS This Morning, Winfrey, 66, noted that her book choice comes at a time "during which our collective hearts are being broken again and again by the images of violence against Black people.”

Though Winfrey picked Deacon King Kong “long before” the ongoing nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice, she believes the book offers a thoughtful — and necessary — reflection on race in America.

Penguin Random House

“In a moment where our country roils with righteous anger and grief, Deacon King Kong reminds us that when we come together as a community in compassion and empathy, love triumphs,” she said.

Winfrey continued: “I’m hoping that readers will find in it what I did: some beauty, some sorrow, some joy, resilience and most of all, humanity. And the understanding that while we struggle with pain and trauma, we can find shelter in one another, just like the characters in the Cause Houses housing project in McBride’s Brooklyn do.”

McBride told Winfrey’s friend, CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King, that in writing the book he wanted to “humanize part of the world that most of us never see”: people in housing projects, and the officers that guard them.

“I want people to know that we have a lot more in common than we are different,” he added.

Deacon King Kong is Winfrey’s 85th pick in her Oprah’s Book Club collection and the fifth selection in her partnership with Apple. The book is available on Apple Books in both ebook and audiobook formats.

Fans can also stream Winfrey’s interviews with authors previously selected for the book club, which are available now exclusively on Apple TV+. Winfrey’s interview with McBride is expected to air on Apple TV+ this summer.