Oprah endorsement boosts Hutchinson hopes

Oprah Winfrey has chosen debut novel The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis for her 2013 book club and will feature it in a programme airing on 3rd February.

The programme will be broadcast in the US on the Oprah Winfrey Network, and will also be shown in Ireland. There is no confirmation of the programme being broadcast in the UK, but the digital emphasis of the new-format club, now known as Oprah's Book Club 2.0 is boosting publisher Hutchinson's hopes of a UK sales impact.

"The whole focus of the new series of the book club is pushing books digitally - hence the curious name which shows the books are all going to be available on the newest editions of reading devices," Hutchinson publicist Najma Finlay said. "With the emphasis being digital - including video footage, the Oprah website airing the show and lots of social media interaction - it means that the audience will be much more international when there are international editions releasing very closely to each other, as with our Knopf and Hutchinson editions."

Winfrey has said that the opening pages of the novel "took my breath away", adding: "I can't remember when I read anything that moved me in quite this way, besides the work of Toni Morrison." The story is described as a "searing" portrait of 20th century America told through the story of one family, with a young wife who becomes the mother of nine but whose husband who brings nothing but disappointment.