Skip To Content

    This Is The Book Oprah Wants You To Read Next

    Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad is Oprah's newest book club pick.

    Scott Barbour / Getty Images

    Oprah's Book Club has a history of picking excellent books.

    Knopf
    Vintage

    Past selections have included Cheryl Strayed's Wild and Ayana Mathis's The Twelve Tribes of Hattie.

    And the newest 2016 selection is no exception: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead is a powerful novel about a teenage girl who is a slave that escapes from a Georgia cotton plantation.

    Doubleday

    From the publisher: "Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted by slave catchers."

    "This book has kept me up at night, had my heart in my throat, almost afraid to turn the next page," Oprah said in her video announcement.

    oprah.com

    Previously in O Magazine, she described The Underground Railroad as a "tour de force": "Every now and then a book comes along that reaches the marrow of your bones, settles in, and stays forever. This is one. It's a tour de force, and I don't say that lightly."

    Whitehead called the selection "the best kind of sendoff":

    "When I got the call, I let out a stream of loud, joyful expletives - which was awkward because my plane had just landed and everyone looked at me like I was crazy,” says Whitehead. “Oprah has introduced so many wonderful books to people, from The Song of Solomon to The Sound and The Fury, that I'm honored and grateful that The Underground Railroad is joining such great company. You write the best book you can, and hope it finds its way. This is the best kind of sendoff."

    Rob Howard / Via oprah.com

    You can join Oprah's Book Club here, and find a copy of The Underground Railroad here.

    OWN

    The book is in stores now, as the publication date has been moved up a month — so you don't have to wait. Get reading!

    BuzzFeed has reached out to Colson Whitehead for comment.

    Want great book recommendations in your inbox every week? Sign up for the BuzzFeed Books newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form