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Last Updated: Monday, 6 June, 2005, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
Oprah backs Nobel winner's book
Oprah Winfrey
Oprah's endorsement turned new novels into bestsellers
US TV host Oprah Winfrey has helped Nobel-prize winning author William Faulkner up the US bestseller list, thanks to her influential book club.

A boxed set of his three novels went to number two within 24 hours of being picked as the summer reading choice.

Faulkner, who won the Nobel prize for literature in 1949, is one of several authors whose classic novels have been championed by Winfrey.

Her backing helped sell 1.2m copies of John Steinbeck's East of Eden in 2003.

Fiction sales

Faulkner's set of three novels - As I Lay Dying, The Sound and the Fury and Light in August - went to number two on internet retailer, second only to JK Rowling's next Harry Potter book, which is out in July.

Winfrey's book club began as a segment on her talk show in 1996 and she initially picked new novels rather than classics.

An Oprah's Book Club logo on a novel's cover helped many of her choices to sell more than one million copies.

She suspended the club in 2002, but relaunched it in June 2003 with classics such as East of Eden and Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.

Earlier this year, a group of authors wrote Winfrey a letter urging her to return to picking contemporary writing, saying fiction sales had fallen since her club stopped including new works.

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