The virtual five-event tour with co-author Bruce Perry begins April 27

By Sam Gillette
April 15, 2021 04:00 PM
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oprah winfrey
Oprah Winfrey
| Credit: Steve Jennings/Getty Images

As a young girl, Oprah Winfrey survived different types of trauma. Now, the star is opening up about her past and path to healing in a book she co-authored, What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing — and she's starting with a virtual book tour.

On Thursday, Winfrey announced her virtual five-event tour with her co-author, Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D., which begins April 27. Each hourlong conversation promises to be candid and inspiring, and features celebrity hosts such as Winfrey's best friend Gayle King, Jay Shetty, Rob Lowe, Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell, and Arianna Davis.

"Most of us have experienced various levels of trauma that have informed how we operate and interact in the world," Winfrey, 67, wrote on Instagram. "Which is why Dr. Bruce Perry and I have been working on a book called #WhatHappenedToYou that will be available on April 27."

"We hope that through these pages, we help people hold more empathy for themselves and others as we learn to shift from asking 'What's wrong with you?' to 'What happened to you?'" she continued.

Oprah's book tour

In What Happened to You?, Winfrey "shares stories from her own past, understanding through experience the vulnerability that comes from facing trauma and adversity at a young age," according to a press release.

Winfrey, the former host of The Oprah Winfrey Show, has built her brand through honesty and by embracing the stories of everyday people. But she didn't feel brave enough to speak up about being abused as a child until she revealed the truth on her show in 1986.

At the time, Winfrey shared that she had been molested by her cousin, an uncle and a family friend as a young girl. In her March 2018 PEOPLE cover story, the star opened up about her years of sexual abuse and explained why victims, and especially young ones, are sometimes hesitant to share their experience.

"It happened to me at 9, and then 10, and then 11, and then 12, 13, 14. You don't have the language to begin to explain what's happening to you," she said. "That's why you feel you're not going to be believed. And if the abuser, the molester, is any good, they will make you feel that you are complicit, that you were part of it. That's what keeps you from telling."

oprah, Gayle King
Gayle King and Oprah Winfrey
| Credit: Tom Cooper/Getty Images
oprah
Credit: Amazon

Throughout the book, Winfrey explores her painful past and how she's healed. She and Dr. Perry also explore people and their behaviors.

"It's a subtle but profound shift in our approach to trauma," the release says, "and it's one that allows us to understand our pasts in order to clear a path to our future — opening the door to resilience and healing in a proven, powerful way."

The conversations on the book tour will be centered around important themes in What Happened to You?. Winfrey and Dr. Perry have partnered with different bookstores across the country to promote the book, which will be published by Flatiron Books on April 27. (Attendees will get a copy of the book with their ticket, which can be purchased here.)

The book tour schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. ET, hosted by Books Are Magic and Semicolon Bookstore. Moderator: Jay Shetty.

Wednesday, April 28 at 7 p.m. ET, hosted by Barnes & Noble and Indigo (Canada). Moderator: Gayle King.

Thursday, April 29 at 7 p.m. ET, hosted by Loyalty and The Book Stall. Moderators: Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell.

Sunday, May 2 at 4 p.m. ET, hosted by Politics & Prose and Books & Books. Moderator: Rob Lowe.

Monday, May 3 at 7 p.m. ET, hosted by Powell's and Blue Willow host. Moderator: Arianna Davis.