Your NPR news source

Michelle Obama Drops Due Date For 'Deeply Personal' Memoir

Writing Becoming “has been a deeply personal experience,” the former first lady tweeted. Publisher Penguin Random House says readers can expect “an unusually intimate” read this November.

SHARE Michelle Obama Drops Due Date For 'Deeply Personal' Memoir
Former first lady Michelle Obama, pictured in October 2016, announced on Sunday that her new memoir titled Becoming will be released on November 13.

Former first lady Michelle Obama, pictured in October 2016, announced on Sunday that her new memoir titled Becoming will be released on November 13.

Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Glamour

Michelle Obama fans can officially start the countdown clock.

Over social media Sunday, the former first lady announced her first memoir, Becoming, will be published on November 13. That gives her most dedicated admirers exactly 261 days to start printing “Obama 2020" T-shirts as some are professing to do before storming bookstores.

“Writing BECOMING has been a deeply personal experience,” she tweeted to her followers. “I talk about my roots and how a girl from the South Side found her voice.”

In a post on Instagram, Obama added that writing the book “has allowed me, for the very first time, the space to honestly reflect on the unexpected trajectory of my life. ... I hope my journey inspires readers to find the courage to become whoever they aspire to be.”

The book’s scope had been a bit of a mystery since the Obamas announced their joint publishing deal in 2017 — a negotiation that sparked an unparalleled bidding war that reportedly exceeded a whopping $60 million for the former first couple.

Now, in a longer post issued by the publisher, Penguin Random House is preparing readers for “an unusually intimate” read:

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her — from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address.”

The memoir is Obama’s second book; she previously published American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America, a gardening guide, in 2012.

Upon its release, Obama will head out on a U.S. and international book tour.

Barack Obama’s fourth book is expected to be a behind-the-scenes account of his eight turbulent years in the White House.

Penguin Random House says it will donate one million books in the Obamas’ name to First Book — a nonprofit with the mission of “providing new books, learning materials, and other essentials to children in need” — and to the Washington, D.C.-based Open eBooks.

NPR’s Emma Bowman contributed to this report.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


The Latest
“Street tracks are different every year, no matter where you go,” Shane van Gisbergen said. “The burial location is always different, whether inside the curb or on top of it. The track always changes.”
NASCAR has unveiled its first electric racecar in Chicago. One test driver said the sound and smell were unlikely anything he’d previously experienced.
NASCAR Chicago Street Race begins this weekend, and sections of DuSable Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue have closed to make way for the event.
Some small business owners said they plan to close during the two-day event, but others are excited about the race and the boost in pedestrian traffic that could bring more sales.
The San Diego-based chain is planning to open eight 24-hour restaurants in the city and suburbs in 2025 and 2026. One will be near Midway Airport, with the rest in the suburbs.