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Michelle Obama's Memoir "Becoming" Sells 10 Million Copies


 The South wasn’t paradise, but it meant something to us. There was a push and pull to our history, a deep familiarity that sat atop a deeper and uglier legacy. Many of the people I knew in Chicago—the kids I’d gone to Bryn Mawr with, many of my friends at Whitney Young—knew something similar, though it was not explicitly discussed.
  Kids simply went “down south” every summer—shipped out sometimes for the whole season to run around with their second cousins back in Georgia, or Louisiana, or Mississippi. It seems likely that they’d had grandparents or other relatives who’d joined the Great Migration north, just as Dandy had from South Carolina, and Southside’s mother had from Alabama. Somewhere in the background was another morethan-decent likelihood—that they, like me, were descended from slaves.
The same was true for many of my friends at Princeton, but I was also coming to understand that there were other versions of being black in America. I was meeting kids from East Coast cities whose roots were Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Dominican. Czerny’s relatives came from Haiti. One of my good friends, David Maynard, had been born into a wealthy Bahamian family. And there was Suzanne, with her Nigerian birth certificate and her collection of beloved aunties in Jamaica. We were all different, our lineages half buried or maybe just half forgotten. We didn’t talk about our ancestry.
Why would we? We were young, focused only on the future—though of course we knew nothing of what lay ahead.
   Text from Obama's Becoming
Former first lady Michelle Obama's memoir, "Becoming," could become the best-selling memoir in history. According to Bertelsmann SE, the German media and services conglomerate that has a controlling stake in Penguin Random House, the book just surpassed 10 million copies sold. And those stats only include the company's English, Spanish and German-language territories.
"I'm not aware, in my personal experience with Penguin Random House, that we ever sold 10 million units of a memoir," chief executive Markus Dohle told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.
The book "is on pace to become one of the best-selling memoirs of all time," David Drake, executive vice president and publisher of Crown Publishing, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House, told CBS News.
"We believe this could be the most successful memoir in history," said Thomas Rabe, a chief executive for the publisher's co-owner, Bertelsmann.
"Becoming" topped bestseller lists and has sold more than 6.2 million units across print, digital, and audio formats in the U.S. and Canada alone since its publication in November, Drake explained to CBS News. It was the best-selling adult nonfiction book published in the United States in 2018.
The memoir's history-making release was also followed by a sold-out tour. Obama and her husband, former President Barack Obama, reached a joint agreement with Penguin Random House for their respective books in 2017. The deal was believed to be well in excess of $30 million.
"Becoming" follows the journey from Obama's childhood in the South Side of Chicago to life after the White House. She also criticizes President Trump in the book, saying she would "never forgive" him for the birther conspiracy claims against her husband, and for putting her family's safety at risk.

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