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2013 The Root 100

First-time author gets Oprah's blessing and her first hit novel.

  • Influence: 157.8
  • Reach: 10.38
  • Substance: 7
  • Media Mentions: 318
  • Internet Mentions: 84400
  • Twitter Followers: 884
  • Ayana Mathis

  • First-time author gets a hit out of the gate with The Twelve Tribes of Hattie.
  • Job: Author
  • Sector: Entertainment/Media
  • Twitter: @AyanaMathis
  • Location: Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Age: 40
  • Bio:

    Ayana Mathis had no idea her story about a problematic black family spanning from the 1920s to 1980 would resonate with one of the richest, most powerful women in media, but when Oprah Winfrey launched her Book Club 2.0 the first-time author's The Twelve Tribes of Hattie was her second selection. Winfrey called the book "breathtaking," and it seems quite a few others agreed, launching Mathis' novel to the New York Times Best-Sellers list. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and recipient of the Michener-Copernicus Fellowship, the humble and talented Mathis remains "permanently stunned" at her sudden Oprah-fueled success.

    Visit her website and like her Facebook page.