Former first lady Michelle Obama is releasing a new book. "The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times" will be released on Tuesday, Nov. 15.
Obama's memoir, "Becoming," about her life before, during and after being the first lady, was the bestselling book of 2018, and has sold more than 17 million copies. "Becoming" was also a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, an Oprah Book Club selection and an NAACP Image Award winner. The memoir was also adapted into a film.
Also drawing from Obama's personal experiences, "The Light We Carry" is a series of meditations on "change, challenge, and power," per the press release, "including her belief that when we light up for others, we can illuminate the richness and potential of the world around us."
Obama will distill wisdom from her roles as a mother, daughter, spouse, friend and First Lady. According to the press release, Obama will share some of her values and rituals, like "starting kind," going high," and assembling a "kitchen table" of friends who can provide guidance.
In an Instagram post accompanying the announcement, Obama said the book was inspired by the challenges that the world has seen since "Becoming" was published.
"We've seen a global pandemic. We've seen an insurrection. A rising tide of hate, bigotry and intolerance and a whole lot more. It's often left me feeling out of balance ... I felt vulnerable and yes, at times, I felt afraid," Obama, who opened up about having "low grade depression" in 2020, said on Instagram.
In the caption, Obama described the book as "a collection of stories and practices that have helped me sort through all the challenges and questions that keep us up at night: How do I know I’m good enough? How do I bring my whole self to the table? How can I overcome my fears?"
Obama called the book a "toolbox," or a collection of practices that she has used to keep herself centered in times of stress.
“I’ve learned it’s okay to recognize that self-worth comes wrapped in vulnerability, and that what we share as humans on this earth is the impulse to strive for better, always and no matter what,” writes Mrs. Obama in the book's introduction. “We become bolder in brightness. If you know your light, you know yourself. You know your own story in an honest way. In my experience, this type of self-knowledge builds confidence, which in turn breeds calmness and an ability to maintain perspective, which leads, finally, to being able to connect meaningfully with others—and this to me is the bedrock of all things. One light feeds another. One strong family lends strength to more. One engaged community can ignite those around it. This is the power of the light we carry.”
A Spanish-language edition of the book, titled "Con luz propia," will be released simultaneously.
Along with the release, publisher Random House also announced a $10,000 “Michelle Obama Award for Memoir” award within its Creative Writing Awards (CWA) program.