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The power of Oprah's Book Club

The power of Oprah’s Book Club — The host lures reclusive author Cormac McCarthy to TV for a rare chat

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Think of it as the Super Bowl for English majors: On June 5, talk-show host Oprah Winfrey will air her sit-down with reclusive writer Cormac McCarthy to discuss his bleak apocalyptic novel The Road, her latest Book Club pick. The 73-year-old author is on a roll — The Road won a Pulitzer in April and the film version of his 2005 book No Country for Old Men just wowed audiences at Cannes. But he’s only been interviewed two times in his 40-year career, most recently in 2005, and has never appeared on television before. That makes Oprah’s get the most enticing must-see TV moment for serious bookworms since Thomas Pynchon (another recluse) lent his voice to The Simpsons in 2004. So what made McCarthy do it? ”[He] said, ‘Oprah’s done good things for writing,”’ says McCarthy’s editor at Knopf, Sonny Mehta. And how does McCarthy feel about sitting on the most famous hot seat in daytime TV? ”I didn’t [ask him],” Mehta admits, laughing. ”I was rather hoping he’d feel all right about it.”