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November 20th, 2009
09:45 AM ET
November 10th, 2009
01:18 PM ET

Video: Anderson interviews Oprah

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor


Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Oprah Winfrey • South Africa
November 9th, 2009
07:10 PM ET

Oprah: 'The proudest day of my life'

Program Note: Join Oprah and 'Say You're One of Them' author Uwem Akpan for an in-depth discussion simulcast LIVE on CNN.com and Facebook Tonight at 9 p.m. ET.

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor


Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Oprah Winfrey • South Africa
November 7th, 2009
11:53 AM ET
November 6th, 2009
06:55 PM ET

A 'literary miracle' crowned by Oprah

Editor's note: Eileen Pollack is director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan and taught Uwem Akpan, author of "Say You Are One of Them." Akpan's book is the choice of the Oprah Book Club, which will be discussed November 9 at 9 p.m. ET on CNN.com Live or Oprah.com.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/OPINION/11/04/pollack.uwem.akpan.oprah.bookclub/story.pollack.courtesy.jpg caption="Uwem Akpan and Eileen Pollack at a holiday dinner." width=300 height=169]

Eileen Pollack
Special to CNN

Even among the hundreds of applications, this one stood out. Most applicants to creative writing programs submit stories about the angst of their suburban childhoods. This writer's stories concerned the daily ordeals of a boy living with his family on the streets of Nairobi, Kenya, and the horrific plight of a Rwandan girl whose mother is Tutsi and father Hutu.

Not only did the applicant have what writers call "material," he was blessed with an uncanny ear for human speech and the poetry to describe his characters' very unpoetic lives.

I can still remember the young Kenyan boy watching his mother decant the glue she intends to sniff. The glue, the boy tells us, "glowed warm and yellow in the dull light," and when his mother had poured enough, "she cut the flow of the glue by tilting the tin up. The last stream of gum entering the bottle weakened and braided itself before tapering in midair like an icicle."

Still, this applicant gave us pause. The writer had so much to say, he seemed to be trying to channel a raging waterfall through the tiny funnels of two short stories. His use of punctuation was idiosyncratic, to say the least. And the applicant was a priest!

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November 5th, 2009
04:01 PM ET

A 'literary miracle' crowned by Oprah

Editor's note: Eileen Pollack is director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan and taught Uwem Akpan, author of "Say You Are One of Them." Akpan's book is the choice of the Oprah Book Club, which will be discussed November 9 at 9 p.m. ET on CNN.com Live or Oprah.com.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/OPINION/11/04/pollack.uwem.akpan.oprah.bookclub/story.pollack.courtesy.jpg caption="Uwem Akpan and Eileen Pollack at a holiday dinner." width=300 height=169]

Eileen Pollack
Special to CNN

Even among the hundreds of applications, this one stood out. Most applicants to creative writing programs submit stories about the angst of their suburban childhoods. This writer's stories concerned the daily ordeals of a boy living with his family on the streets of Nairobi, Kenya, and the horrific plight of a Rwandan girl whose mother is Tutsi and father Hutu.

Not only did the applicant have what writers call "material," he was blessed with an uncanny ear for human speech and the poetry to describe his characters' very unpoetic lives.

I can still remember the young Kenyan boy watching his mother decant the glue she intends to sniff. The glue, the boy tells us, "glowed warm and yellow in the dull light," and when his mother had poured enough, "she cut the flow of the glue by tilting the tin up. The last stream of gum entering the bottle weakened and braided itself before tapering in midair like an icicle."

Still, this applicant gave us pause. The writer had so much to say, he seemed to be trying to channel a raging waterfall through the tiny funnels of two short stories. His use of punctuation was idiosyncratic, to say the least. And the applicant was a priest!

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Africa • Oprah Winfrey
November 5th, 2009
11:46 AM ET

Oprah talks about book

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor


Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Oprah Winfrey
November 4th, 2009
09:45 AM ET

A 'literary miracle' crowned by Oprah

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/06/03/forbes.celebrity.list/art.oprah.winfrey.gi.jpg]

Eileen Pollack
Special to CNN

Even among the hundreds of applications, this one stood out. Most applicants to creative writing programs submit stories about the angst of their suburban childhoods. This writer's stories concerned the daily ordeals of a boy living with his family on the streets of Nairobi, Kenya, and the horrific plight of a Rwandan girl whose mother is Tutsi and father Hutu.

Not only did the applicant have what writers call "material," he was blessed with an uncanny ear for human speech and the poetry to describe his characters' very unpoetic lives.

I can still remember the young Kenyan boy watching his mother decant the glue she intends to sniff. The glue, the boy tells us, "glowed warm and yellow in the dull light," and when his mother had poured enough, "she cut the flow of the glue by tilting the tin up. The last stream of gum entering the bottle weakened and braided itself before tapering in midair like an icicle."

Still, this applicant gave us pause. The writer had so much to say, he seemed to be trying to channel a raging waterfall through the tiny funnels of two short stories. His use of punctuation was idiosyncratic, to say the least. And the applicant was a priest!

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Oprah Winfrey
October 1st, 2009
03:23 PM ET

Chicago-Rio Battle "Close As Hell"

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/10/01/obama.olympics/art.obamas.afp.gi.jpg caption="The Obamas hope an appearance in Copenhagen will boost their chances of bringing the Olympics to Chicago."]
Ed Henry
CNN

As First Lady Michelle Obama and talk show host Oprah Winfrey wrapped up a day of furious behind-the-scenes lobbying of International Olympic Committee members here, two sources close to the process tell CNN that the battle between Chicago and Rio is privately heating up over who will host the 2016 Summer Games.

Madrid and Tokyo are also in the running, but the sources close the process said that Chicago and Rio have emerged as the clear front-runners and are in a neck-and-neck battle ahead of President Obama's arrival early Friday for a presentation to the IOC's 105 members who will be voting later in the day.

After a flurry of private conversations among IOC officials here, one of the sources close to the process said bluntly it's "close as hell" between Chicago and Rio as both Obama and Brazilian President Lula da Silva plan to make personal appeals to the voters on behalf of their cities on Friday morning. FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Michelle Obama • Olympics • Oprah Winfrey
May 1st, 2009
05:30 PM ET

Time 100: Oprah Winfrey on Michelle Obama

Program Note: Tune in tonight to see the Time 100/Anderson Cooper 360° Special: The World's Most Influential People at 11 p.m. ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2009/LIVING/homestyle/03/30/helle.obama.oprah/art.michelle.obama.oprah.o.jpg]

Oprah Winfrey
For Time

Michelle Obama doesn't just inspire us. She affirms us with her intelligence, authenticity, depth and compassion. We see the best of ourselves in her and marvel that no matter what she's doing, she brings 100% of herself to the experience.

I first met Michelle almost five years ago, shortly after Senator Barack Obama's riveting 2004 DNC speech. Long before there was serious talk of a campaign for the presidency, I remember going to the Obamas' house for dinner. I figured there would be takeout since I knew that, like me, Michelle had worked all day. But no, there she was in the kitchen, calm and organized, preparing linguine with shrimp and vegetables.

The woman I witnessed five years ago, with her graciousness, care and attention to detail, is the same woman I visited in the White House in February. Her very presence makes you feel welcome. Her political power is secondary to her heart power, and I salute her for that. I trust her. I know that whatever she gives her attention to, the truth will always be present. She doesn't make false moves.

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