Brow Beat

Michelle Obama’s Memoir Becoming Will Be on Store Shelves a Week After the Midterm Elections

Michelle and Barack Obama at the unveiling of their official portraits.
Michelle and Barack Obama at the unveiling of their official portraits. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Former first lady Michelle Obama’s memoir has a title and a release date: Becoming will be available worldwide on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. As it happens, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 is Election Day in the United States, which should provide at least a preliminary answer to the question, “Becoming what?” Per publisher Penguin Random House, which paid a reported $65 million for a two-book deal with Michelle Obama and her husband, Becoming is “a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling.” Per Michelle Obama, the book will be as much autobiography as White House tell-all:

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But whatever Michelle Obama has written, the release date means her book will inevitably be overshadowed by the midterms, making it into a projection screen for either a premature victory lap or a sad, valedictory look back at the era of literate politicians. So given the title, and the fact that the words on the page will doubtless be ignored in favor of pontificating about whatever brave new political landscape we’re facing on publication day, here’s hoping Michelle Obama took the advance money and wrote a deeply disturbing work of Cronenbergian body horror. Make the pundits work for it!

In addition to its English-language edition, Becoming will be translated into 23 other languages. None of them is Russian.

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