Co-executive producer Lisa Weiss promises lots of "bing-bing!" moments to come in the new season of the Emmy-winning series. "People around the world are looking for feelings of connection right now," she says, adding that the producers have learned that the show inspires people to gather together and talk about things that matter.
The upcoming guests include:
Before Oprah finished the first chapter of this author's debut novel, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, she knew it was "the one." "It was an advance copy—the book hadn't yet been published," she has said. "Before I'd even finished the first chapter, I knew I'd found my second Oprah's Book Club 2.0 pick." To inform Ayana of her choice, Oprah tracked down the author in Paris. "Is this a joke?" the incredulous writer asked. On February 3, Oprah and Ayana will discuss the book and its themes of loss, survival and redemption. Before the interview, Ayana shared some of the books that inspired her with "Super Soul Sunday" producers—including Toni Morrison's Beloved (an Original Oprah's Book Club selection). "I didn't understand Beloved the first time," Ayana said. "Then I went back to it five years later, put it down, and I don't know how long I cried. ... I couldn't get myself together. I couldn't believe it was in the world and that I hadn't understood its magnitude."
After 53 Oprah Show appearances and two years hosting his own syndicated talk show, Chicago- and New York–based interior designer Nate Berkus is a familiar face. On his upcoming two-part episode of "Super Soul Sunday," though, Nate reveals more than he has before. While prepping the show, as Oprah and the producers were reviewing the discussion topics—Nate's coming out, how he felt about the end of his talk show—Oprah realized she's never talked publicly with Nate about any of these personal subjects.
Dr. Maya Angelou
Oprah has felt deeply connected to Dr. Angelou since the moment Oprah opened I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings as a child. "Meeting Maya on those pages was like meeting myself in full," Oprah has said. "For the first time, as a young black girl, my experience was validated." They met for the first time in Baltimore more than 30 years ago, and Oprah said their bond was immediate. "We talked as if we had known each other our entire lives," she said. "She's the woman who can share my triumphs, chide me with hard truth and soothe me with words of comfort when I call her in my deepest pain." It's been more than 10 years since Oprah and Dr. Angelou sat down for an hour-long, one-on-one conversation. Now, Oprah's going deep with the 84-year-old author once again and discussing her upcoming book, Mom & Me & Mom.
Don Miguel Ruiz
In 1999, Ellen DeGeneres stumbled upon a book that changed her life—The Four Agreements by Toltec teacher don Miguel Ruiz. (The Toltecs were artists and spiritual seekers who thrived in Mexico hundreds of years ago and hid their ancestral wisdom after European conquerors arrived.) Ellen was so moved by The Four Agreements that she recommended it to Oprah, who read the book that night, bought 500 more copies for her friends and colleagues, and then made it one of her Favorite Things in 2000. Ellen actually met don Miguel Ruiz for the first time when she interviewed him for the October 2001 issue O, the Oprah Magazine. Now, it's Oprah's turn. In the candid upcoming interview, don Miguel shares how his near-death experiences opened him to more profound levels of spiritual awareness, and discusses the power of each of the four agreements outlined in his book.
Panache Desai believes the key to changing yourself—and the world at large—is to accept who you are. It's a lesson he learned after he devoted six months after college to meditation and prayer. Born and raised in London, he moved to the United States in 2001 to share what he learned with others and help them achieve their "infinite potential." Unlike many "Super Soul Sunday" guests, Panache has not written a book. Instead, he's connected with people around the world through his speaking engagements and webcasts—several of whom recommended him to Oprah as a new spiritual voice. In the upcoming interview, Oprah and Panache discuss, among other topics, energy and the idea why no person is broken and no person needs fixing.
In June 2010, Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW, a research professor at the University of Houston's Graduate College of Social Work, gave a talk at TEDxHouston about the power of vulnerability. To date, that lecture has been viewed more than 7.3 million times, and it caught the eye of "Super Soul Sunday" producers. The renowned speaker and professor—who studies courage, authenticity and shame—will sit down with Oprah to discuss her New York Times best-seller Daring Greatly.