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Winfrey to record show at University

Buoyed by her win yesterday against Texas beef companies in a "veggie libel" suit, talk-show superstar Oprah Winfrey is coming to campus this weekend to tape portions of an upcoming show featuring author and creative writing professor Toni Morrison.

Winfrey will host a taped discussion on Morrison's new book, "Paradise," with the 1993 Nobel Prizewinning author and 20 preselected viewers, said Audrey Pass, a spokeswoman for The Oprah Winfrey Show.


The discussion will air as part of Winfrey's March 6 show, which will be televised live from Chicago, Pass added.

Private taping

The Princeton taping will not be open to the public, and officials refused to disclose where on campus or when this weekend it will take place.

"We don't want people to show up to the event," Pass said. "It's a private taping."

University spokesman Justin Harmon '78 said Princeton is following the lead of The Oprah Winfrey Show in preparing for the taping session.

"What we're trying to do is provide a location that meets the logistical requirements of the crew and is in keeping with the nature of the event," Harmon said.

He added that the show has "very specific requirements" in terms of electrical support, space and lighting needs, but said he could not provide more details.


"It's not our place to describe the details of the show," Harmon said.

Eric Hamblin, assistant director of the University visitor and conference services, also declined to discuss preparations for Winfrey's visit.

"Paradise" is the current selection of Winfrey's book club, a distinction that has become all but a guarantee that a novel will be a bestseller.

Morrison's novel about life in an all-black Oklahoma town of the 1970s ranked No. 2 on Sunday's New York Times bestseller list. It placed No.1 the previous week.

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Winfrey – who owns the movie rights to "Paradise" – is "a huge fan of Toni Morrison's work," Pass said. "She has said (Morrison) is one of the best living American writers."

Morrison, who was unavailable for comment yesterday, previously appeared on Winfrey's show in October 1996 when her book "Song of Solomon" was chosen as the bookclub selection, Pass said.

The viewers attending this weekend's taping were chosen based upon the "unique perspectives" they offered in reaction to "Paradise," Pass said.

Winfrey's show is seen by 15 million to 20 million viewers per day in the United States, according to the show's Website.