The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates will be released on Tuesday

By Jen Juneau
September 23, 2019 10:32 AM
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Oprah Winfrey
CBS This Morning

Oprah Winfrey has unveiled her newest book club pick!

The legendary television personality, 65, appeared on CBS This Morning Monday to talk about her latest selection: The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

“The world’s been waiting for this novel and Ta-Nehisi Coates certainly didn’t need me to choose the novel to give it attention, but it is one of the best books I’ve ever read in my entire life,” she said. “Right up there in the top five.”

Winfrey’s friend, CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King, went on to explain the premise of the book, which is Coates’ first fiction novel: “The Water Dancer tells the story of a young man [named Hiram Walker] born into bondage on a plantation who is gifted with a mysterious power.”

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

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“Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life,” the description continues on “This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.”

The announcement is just the beginning.

Winfrey will interview Coates for the first installment of Oprah’s Book Club, a new Apple TV+ series, which premieres on Nov. 1.

Of the star’s reaction to his debut fiction novel, Coates, 43, said during his appearance on CBS This Morning Monday that her picking it was a “tremendous honor.”

“You’re going into the company of people like Toni Morrison, Colson Whitehead,” he added. “This was a huge, huge honor for me.”

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While the work is Coates’ first fiction novel, it is hardly his first literary accomplishment. The longtime journalist has written for publications like TimeThe Atlantic, The Washington Post and The New York Times.

He has published multiple nonfiction works, including a memoir and many essays, and has also written Black Panther and Captain America comics for Marvel.

In 2015, Coates won the National Book Award for nonfiction for Between the World and Me, “a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son” that “offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis.”

The Water Dancer debuts Tuesday on and Apple Books. It’s available for pre-order now.