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Posts Tagged ‘Kitty Kelley’

Kitty Kelley to Write Book About the Women of the U.S. Senate

Oprah Winfrey and Frank Sinatra biographer Kitty Kelley has landed a book deal to write about the women of the U.S. Senate. Publication has been set for Spring 2016.

The book will look at the 113th Congress, but focus on the “divinely diverse and one-fifth female” U.S. Senate. WSK Management CEO Wayne Kabak negotiated the deal with publisher Jamie Raab. Raab will also edit the book.

Kelley explained in the release: “As a woman who cheers the accomplishments of other women on both sides of the aisle, I come to this project with a positive bias, and I am eager to learn if the combined talents and collegiality of women will make a difference in the way our laws are made and the country’s business is conducted. More importantly, through in-depth reporting I will try to answer the question that so many are asking: can the presence of women break the ugly gridlock now choking Congress?”

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Kitty Kelley Sells Movie Rights to Oprah Winfrey Biography

kitty23.pngAuthor Kitty Kelley has reportedly sold the movie rights to her unauthorized Oprah Winfrey biography for a “TV movie or miniseries.”

E! Online has the scoop: “Kelley finalized a six-figure deal with Larry Thompson, a veteran producer behind biopics on Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Sonny and Cher, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Thompson says that the plan is to develop the project to coincide with Winfrey’s final syndicated episode in September 2011, with an unknown actress in the lead role.”

In the Media Beat show, Kelley (pictured)explained her work: “This book is not a takedown of Oprah by any means. There are many, many people on the record talking about her in a most admirable fashion.”

Kitty Kelley Predicts the End of the Unauthorized Biography

After documenting the lives of iconic figures like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the Bushes, and Britain’s royal family, author Kitty Kelley says she doesn’t see much of a future for the genre of biographies and her style of in-depth writing.

“Well, I just think it’s a huge investment of a writer’s time and a publisher’s commitment. This represents four years of my life. This was college,” she says of her latest release, Oprah: A Biography. “You know, we’re in a 24/7 information era…I don’t think you’ll be able to write this kind of book 10 years from now.”

Watch the final installment of our Media Beat interview to find out what Kelley says has been the biggest piece of feedback she’s gotten on the book, plus the answer to the million dollar question: How would she feel if there was a bio about her?

Part 1: Kitty Kelley Says Bio is Not ‘A Takedown’ of Oprah

Part 2: Kitty Kelley Calls Oprah Herself ‘The Biggest Source’ for Bio

RELATED: Attend Mediabistro Circus to hear from visionary women in media and tech.

Kitty Kelley Calls Oprah Herself ‘The Biggest Source’ for Bio

Few remember that Oprah Winfrey wasn’t always the beacon of “best life” she is today. Once upon a time, the rising talk show host covered topics like KKK members, Mexican satanic cult murderers, and women who were allergic to their husbands (true story). Unfortunately for the now media mogul, educator, and activist, all of her not so enlightened moments are back in the spotlight thanks to infamous biographer Kitty Kelley.

For Oprah: A Biography, Kelley says she combed through a mountain of information on the icon and spoke to 850 people who either worked with or knew her. “Oprah turns out to be the biggest source of information in this book — THE biggest source. Because I got all the interviews that she’s given over a period of 25 years to radio and television, to newspapers, and to magazines.”

Sidebar: How happy are you that Twitter and Facebook didn’t exist back then?

Part 1: Kitty Kelley Says Bio is Not ‘A Takedown’ of Oprah

Part 3: Kitty Kelley Predicts the End of the Unauthorized Biography

RELATED: Attend Mediabistro Circus to hear from visionary women in media and tech.

Kitty Kelley Says Bio is Not ‘A Takedown’ of Oprah

Unless you’re just getting back from a vacation on Neptune, you should know by now that Kitty Kelley (best known previously for upsetting Frank Sinatra‘s number one fan) has a new biography out about Oprah Winfrey.

But, at just 196 pages in, I felt like Kelley was editorializing a bit too much. So, I called her on it. Without interviewing Oprah herself, how do you know that your sources aren’t fudging the facts out of jealousy?

“Everybody has a motive. Everybody does. You have to give it to the reader honestly. You have to put it in context, and that’s really what I’ve tried to do,” said Kelley during our Media Beat interview. “This book is not a takedown of Oprah by any means. There are many, many people on the record talking about her in a most admirable fashion.”

Watch the video to find out what Kelley says she uncovered about Oprah’s now distant relationships with her family and several co-workers from The Color Purple, including Steven Spielberg, Alice Walker, and Whoopi Goldberg.

Part 2: Kitty Kelley Calls Oprah Herself ‘The Biggest Source’ for Bio

Part 3: Kitty Kelley Predicts the End of the Unauthorized Biography

RELATED: Attend Mediabistro Circus to hear from visionary women in media and tech.

Oprah Winfrey Bombshell Fails to Detonate

Reviewed by P.E. Logan
Read more about GalleyCat Reviews

oprah23.pngUntil they invent Trivial Pursuit: The Oprah Edition, it’s hard to conjure a reason to slog through Kitty Kelley‘s Oprah: A Biography, a mind-boggling amount of detail that lasts for 525 pages, including the index and author’s skimpy half-page bio.

The book spans Oprah Winfrey‘s life from her birth in rural Mississippi to her current day success as a one-named star. There is only one Oprah. Just say the word and she appears in your mind. This is reason enough to write a biography of her. But in this volume, sheer quantity is not enough to keep your attention on the page.

What will the reader learn in this book? That a young Oprah was often a foolish Oprah? That today’s Oprah is a powerful, empire-building, one-gal branding machine? This is well known. A book like this from a writer such as Ms. Kelley must present new, not nuanced, shock and awe to succeed. That formula dances about but never comes to light in Oprah.

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Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club, Unauthorized

kitty23.pngAs rumors swirled last week that Oprah Winfrey may start a book club on her new cable network, Kitty Kelley (pictured) revealed some behind-the-scenes drama at the book club in her unauthorized biography of Winfrey.

Kelley’s 544-page biography comes out tomorrow. GalleyCat picked out a few choice passages about the book club so you can know what to expect. For instance, the book spends pages analyzing James Frey‘s appearance on Winfrey’s show.

Frey had been a book club pick, but once he was exposed for fabricating portions of his memoir, Winfrey roasted him on national television. According to the biography, Winfrey apologized to the author in the green room after her televised rebuke. Here’s a quote: “The New York Times and The Washington Post wouldn’t let it go. We had to stop it. I’m so sorry, but they were investigating us. And we just couldn’t have that,” Winfrey reportedly told Frey.

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Oprah Winfrey Supporters Won’t Book Kitty Kelley and Her Unauthorized Biography

kitty23.pngIn an interview with the NY Times, biographer Kitty Kelley (pictured) alleged that some of television’s biggest shows would not book Kelley to promote her upcoming unauthorized biography of Oprah Winfrey.

Here’s an excerpt: “In promoting this book, we have already been told by Barbara Walters‘s producer, No, you cannot be on The View, I cannot disrupt my relationship with Oprah. Joy Behar, the same thing. Charlie Rose; Larry King said, I will not do it, it might upset Oprah. Even David Letterman.”

UPDATE: A CNN insider told us this afternoon: “Larry King hasn’t spoken with Kitty Kelley in five years.”

Kelley’s 544-page biography of Winfrey’s life debuts on April 13. Kelley has written juicy books about the Bush family, Nancy Reagan, and Frank Sinatra and many other public figures. In mid-April, mediabistro.com will feature an exclusive Media Beat interview with the biographer about this book. In addition, here’s an old Larry King interview with the author.

Kitty Kelley Completes Oprah Winfrey Biography

kitty23.pngThe woman who picks America’s most popular books will soon have her own biography to read.

Following three years of research, Kitty Kelley‘s 544-page biography of Oprah Winfrey‘s life has been completed. Crown Publishers has set a first printing of more than more 500,000 copies, and the book debuts on April 13, 2010, in hardcover, audiobook, and eBook formats.

Kelley has written juicy books about the Bush family, Nancy Reagan and Frank Sinatra and many other public figures. For the Winfrey book she conducted 850 interviews.

Crown’s publisher Tina Constable had this statement: “Anyone who is a fan of Oprah Winfrey or who has followed her extraordinary life and career will be fascinated and newly informed by the closely observed, detailed, and well-rounded portrait of her provided by Kitty Kelley’s exhaustively researched book. Readers will come away with a greater appreciation of who Oprah really is beyond her public persona and a fuller understanding of her important place in American cultural history.”