Melinda and Sandy

Andrew O’Hagan

  • Oprah: A Biography by Kitty Kelley
    Crown, 544 pp, £19.50, April 2010, ISBN 978 0 307 39486 6

‘Free speech not only lives, it rocks.’ When she was growing up in Mississippi, little Oprah couldn’t have known how much she would come to hate that statement. But Kitty Kelley, giant-killer, stalker of regrets, was born to tell her. In doing so, she draws on the deep reservoirs of self-pity and victimology that Oprah has been wallowing in for 25 years. The two of them were made for each other, with their love of confession and ‘personal revelations’. Each, in her own lucrative way, has coarsened the public’s understanding of real pain, corrupted the meaning of self-respect and annihilated reticence, and it all keeps the tills ringing, the audiences clapping, the advertisers happy and the mind empty.

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