Anthony Ray Hinton’s story is the ultimate American tragedy, but it isn’t without hope. On Tuesday, his memoir — which recounts his wrongful conviction and the almost 30 years he served on death row — was announced as the latest Oprah’s Book Club pick.
“I’m really excited and proud to be able to share this book with you. It’s a new selection that I am so passionate about,” Oprah Winfrey said of Hinton’s memoir, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row, in a video statement. “Anthony Ray Hinton, he’s a man you should know. Over the years I’ve chosen many great novels — very few memoirs — for my book club, but this story reads like an epic novel and it is all true.”
She adds, “Mr. Hinton was falsely convicted of murder and spent 30 years on death row before he was finally released. It’s unimaginable and you will, throughout the book, try to imagine yourself falsely accused and in a five-by-seven cell for 30 years. He is a remarkable storyteller and when you read it you will be swept away into this unbelievable, dramatic true story.”
In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton, then 29, was wrongfully convicted of two counts of capital murder, according to the book club announcement. While Hinton knew he was innocent and believed he’d be acquitted, those hopes were almost dashed when he was sentenced to the electric chair. After almost three decades in prison, he was released in April 2015. The Sun Does Shine recounts Hinton’s story of optimism and faith during a long fight against racism and flaws in the justice system.
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“There was a time I thought I’d never see the sun again,” said Hinton, per the release. “I really believe my mother prepared me, and she always told me to keep the faith. I worked really hard and tried to make a book that would inspire people to do better, learn how to forgive one another and move on. What happened to me, I don’t ever want to happen to anyone else. I’m just trying to be a little tiny light in God’s world.”
Winfrey will discuss the book with Hinton during her special, “Oprah’s Book Club: Freedom After 30 years on Death Row,” which will air Sunday, June 10 at 11 a.m. PT/ET on OWN. Readers can also hear the discussion via “Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations” podcast Monday, June 11 (Part 1) and Wednesday, June 13 (Part 2).
“I’m sure you’ll think a lot, like I did, about how is it possible to find life and freedom on death row,” Winfrey said. “The book is The Sun Does Shine and it is a must-read.”
The Sun Does Shine is on sale now.