Theater club

Winfrey chooses Leila Mottley’s ‘Nightcrawling’ for her book club


This cover image published by Knopf shows “Nightcrawling”, a novel by Leila Mottley. (Knopf via AP)PA

NEW YORK (AP) — Oprah Winfrey has chosen “Nightcrawling,” 19-year-old Leila Mottley, a debut novel about a young black woman from East Oakland and her struggles with poverty, racism and the police, for the next pick of the reading Club.

A spokesperson for Winfrey said Mottley was the youngest author ever selected for Oprah’s Book Club, which was founded in 1996.

“It brings me great joy to introduce readers to new authors, and this young poet Leila Mottley has written an introspective portrait of survival and hope,” Winfrey said in a statement Tuesday.

Mottley, born and raised in Oakland, was the city‘s 2018 Youth Poet Laureate. Her book was released on Tuesday and has been praised by James McBride and Tommy Orange, among others. Kirkus Reviews called “Nightcrawling” a “beautiful and poetic” evocation of a “lower class and disposable women just trying to survive”.

Mottley said in a statement that she was “absolutely stunned when Ms Winfrey appeared” at what she thought was an ordinary editing meeting.

“It was the surprise of a lifetime!” she added.

Winfrey will speak with Mottley on June 30 for an interactive book club event on Since starting her book club, Winfrey has often alternated between established authors such as Toni Morrison and Richard Powers and fledgling authors such as Mottley, Imbolo Mbue and Cynthia Bond.