The novel, which comes out in paperback on Monday, tells the story of a Cameroonian immigrant who finds work as a chauffeur for a Lehman Brothers executive late in 2007. When the company declares bankruptcy the next year, both men's families are left reeling.
"It's got everything that's grabbing the headlines in America right now,"Oprah said in a video statement. "It's about race and class, the economy, culture, immigration and the danger of the us-versus-them mentality."
Mbue, who won a PEN/Faulkner award for the book, described the honor as "humbling" in a statement.
" "Fifteen years ago, I walked into a public library and borrowed my first Oprah’s Book Club selection — Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon — and was so inspired by it that I began writing without thinking much of where my writing would lead me," she said.