The title of Oprah Winfrey's summer 2018 book club pick, "The Sun Does Shine," has a powerful meaning for its author -- they are the first words Anthony Ray Hinton said after being released from death row.
"I never will forget that morning," Hinton said during an interview with Winfrey. "It seemed as though the sun was shining on no one but me ... It was just as though the sun was following me."
"Because I had been in pure hell and darkness for all those years -- and I don't think I could even put in that book or tell you today what it's like to be on death row," Hinton added in the interview posted to the book club announcement page on Amazon.
Hinton, who was freed after being falsely convicted and spending 30 years on death row, wrote about his experiences in "The Sun Does Shine". Winfrey said Hinton's story is one she is "passionate about."
Winfrey, 64, said Hinton is "a man you should know." She also explained why she chose a rare memoir for her book club.
"Now, over the years I've chosen many great novels -- very few memoirs for my book club -- but this story reads like an epic novel and it is all true," Winfrey said during her announcement. "It's unimaginable ... He is a remarkable storyteller and when you read it, you will be swept away into this unbelievable, dramatic true story. And I'm sure you'll think a lot like I did: How is it possible to find light and freedom on death row?"
"It is a must read," the television mogul added.
Book Club friends, I’m SO passionate about my next pick. The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton. This unimaginable memoir is Anthony’s story of being falsely convicted and released from death row after 30 YEARS! Hope you’ll get a copy today. https://t.co/hSf6lcCxN5 pic.twitter.com/OM5Jma9zJH— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) June 5, 2018
Hinton co-wrote his novel with Lara Love Hardin, who has also collaborated on New York Times bestsellers "Designing Your Life" and "The Book of Forgiving."
"The Sun Does Shine," which hit shelves on March 27 through St. Martin's Press, recounts Hinton's harrowing life story, starting with his arrest in 1985 in Alabama. Hinton was charged with two counts of murder when he was 29 years old.
Although Hinton said he was arrested on a case of mistaken identity, he was still convicted and sentenced to death in the electric chair.
Now 62, Hinton writes that he spent the first three years of his imprisoned life on death row inside Holman State Prison.
Still, he said he managed to find peace even as he watched 54 fellow inmates be put to death near his own small cell.
Thankfully, with the help of civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson, Hinton was released in 2015.
"The Sun Does Shine" is available in hardcover, Kindle and audiobook wherever books are sold.