Richard and Judy Book Club: Mounting Pressure for Change

As you know, a couple of months ago we started a campaign to get a classic work of literature on the list for Richard and Judy’s Book Club next year. The book we will endeavour to get onto the renowned book list – voted for by you – is The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë.

It appears that we’re not the only ones putting the pressure on. In The Observer last Sunday Andrew O’Hagan wrote, with no reservations,  about how Richard and Judy’s selection of books failed to challenge readers. With such a captive audience at their finger tips, Richard and Judy have an “opportunity to use that connection to to turn a generation on to good writing.” He continues by saying,

We know it isn’t impossible because Oprah Winfrey did it in America. I know she introduced a lot of cack, but along the way she had them reading Tolstoy and Jonathan Franzen – who wasn’t happy to be read but that was inverted snobbery. You can’t wave a wand over the audience for Richard and Judy and say: “You should be reading Kafka”. It is a lifestyle show, but these books oversell a reduced, unimaginative notion of what people’s literary enjoyment might be. If they were to up it just a little bit, that might be good news.

Good to know we’re not the only ones that think classic literature deserve a higher profile and that readers should be encouraged to read more widely, deeply and imaginatively. If they’ve done it on Oprah, surely they can do it on Richard and Judy?

Posted by Monkey

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