Oprah picks novel of boy and his dog for book club

LOS ANGELES Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:45am BST

The cover of ''The Story of Edgar Sawtelle'' by author David Wroblewski. REUTERS/Harper Collins/Handout

The cover of ''The Story of Edgar Sawtelle'' by author David Wroblewski.

Credit: Reuters/Harper Collins/Handout

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Debut author David Wroblewski took more than 10 years writing his first novel but now looks destined for overnight success, chosen by influential U.S. talk show host Oprah Winfrey as her latest book club pick.

Oprah on Friday named "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" by Wroblewski as the 62nd pick for her book club, saying the debut novel was "right up there with the greatest American novels ever written."

"It's everything you want a book to be," Oprah said in a statement.

The novel is set on a northern Wisconsin farm in the 1970s and was described as tale of a mute boy named Edgar and the special bond he shares with his dog Almondine, interweaving mystery and family intrigue into a coming-of-age story.

Oprah's book club is the biggest in the world with 2 million online members and books chosen for Oprah's book club invariably skyrocket to the top of U.S. bestseller lists.

The author, who was born in 1959, was raised in rural central Wisconsin, not far from where "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" is set. He now lives in Colorado with his partner, writer Kimberly McClintock.

Wroblewski said he was "proud and excited" that his book had been chosen for Oprah's Book Club.

"My highest hope is that it does for you the simple work novels were meant for: to create, for days or weeks, that delicious doubled life of the here-and-now folded back upon the there-and-then," he said in a statement.

"The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" was first published this year by Ecco, an imprint of Harper Collins that is owned by News Corp.

(Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, editing by Todd Eastham)

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