*Things are about to get kicked up a notch for Cynthia Bond, whose novel “Ruby” was selected for Oprah Winfrey’s book club.
According to the Associated Press, the entertainment mogul was hooked on the page-turner, which arrives in paperback Tuesday, from the very first sentence.
“I thought, ‘Wow, this is so good I have to wait until I actually have the time to absorb the language,’” Winfrey told the news agency about “Ruby.”
“I put it down and waited until I was in bed with the flu to start reading it. I found the language and descriptions so vividly compelling that sometimes I would have to take a breath and repeat the sentences out loud.”
Set in the Bond’s native Texas, “Ruby” centers on Ruby Bell, a worldly, beautiful black woman who struggles to not to be destroyed by her home community of Liberty Township.
“Ruby Bell was a constant reminder of what could befall a woman whose shoe heels were too high,” Bond said about her debut novel, which is drawn from stories she heard while working with at-risk youth in Los Angeles.
In addition, Bond was inspired by personal tragedy in her family with the murder of her aunt, who was repeatedly shot by the sheriff and his deputies because of her involvement with a white man. The men, who were rumored to be members of the Ku Klux Klan, dumped the aunt’s body in a sack and thrown onto Bond’s grandfather’s porch.
“This has impacted our family so much and was the base from where the story (of ‘Ruby’) started,” Bond said in a recent telephone interview, which she also admitted to working on “Ruby for more than a decade.
The novel, Bond added, will likely be the first of a trilogy. The former New Yorker, who counts Toni Morrison and Zora Neale Hurston among her influences, had written 900 pages for “Ruby,” but decided to separate it into three books after her mother, then her agent, suggested it, the AP reports.
The selection of Ruby for “Oprah’s Book Club 2.0″marks Winfrey’s first pick in just over a year. Her last selection was Sue Monk Kidd’s “The Invention of Wings.”
“Ruby,” Bond’s first novel, was published last year and received positive reviews moderate sales upon its release. With the novel making Winfrey’s book club, Bond’s publisher, Hogarth, expects an increase in sales and has commissioned 250,000 copies of “Ruby” to be printed in paperback. As it stands now, Hogarth revealed that the hardcover edition of “Ruby” has 20,000 copies in print and is available as an e-book. The AP mentioned that Winfrey will focus her promotion of the novel online through her own website (www.oprah.com) as well as Twitter, Instagram and other social media.
In addition, Winfrey has secured a future for “Ruby” on the big and small screen with acquiring film and television rights for the book through her Harpo Films.
News of Winfrey picking “Ruby” for her book club comes as Winfrey’s interview with Bond is set to appear in the March issue of “O” magazine, which hits newsstands Feb. 17.