Talk-show host blames error for contentious listing
Vince Bucci/getty images file photo
Talk-show host Oprah Winfrey has pulled a discredited children’s book, Forrest Carter’s The Education Of Little Tree, from a list of recommended titles on her website, blaming an archival “error” for including a work considered to be the literary hoax of a white supremacist.
“The archived listing was posted in error and has been removed,” Winfrey spokeswoman Angela DePaul said, adding that she did not know how long Little Tree had been on the site.
First published in 1976, The Education Of Little Tree was supposedly the real-life story of an orphaned boy raised by his Cherokee Indian grandparents; the book became a million seller and sentimental favourite. In 1991, the American Booksellers Association gave Little Tree its first ever ABBY award, established “to honour the ‘hidden treasures’ that ABA bookstore members most enjoyed recommending.”
But suspicions about Carter, who died in 1979, began in his lifetime, and were raised significantly in the early 1990s, not long after the book won the ABBY. Carter was identified as Asa Earl Carter, a member of the Ku Klux Klan and speechwriter for former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who wrote Wallace’s infamous vow: “Segregation today! Segregation tomorrow! Segregation forever!”