Michelle Obama’s book tour certainly seems fit for a former first lady.
Obama will be traveling to 10 cities from Nov. 13 to Dec. 17 to promote her memoir, “Becoming,” and the events won’t be your typical bookstore reading. Instead, she’ll be doing appearances at major arena venues featuring “intimate and honest conversations between Mrs. Obama and a selection of to-be-announced moderators,” according to an announcement Wednesday by Live Nation, the event company producing the tour, and Penguin random House’s Crown Publishing Group.
The format of massive venues and probably high-profile moderators calls to mind an Oprah-esque experience; the news release promises that Obama will “inspire people to become the very best version of themselves.”
Obama said she wants the tour to not just be about her. “I’ve spent the last year and a half reflecting on my story as deeply and honestly as I could, and now I’m thrilled to travel the country and do the same with readers this fall,” she said in the announcement. “I hope that this tour will inspire others to reflect upon and share their own stories — all the joys and sorrows, all the scars and renewals — so that together, we can better recognize that each of us, in our own way, is in a constant process of becoming.”
The lead-up to Obama’s book has been a study in carefully strung-out anticipation: In May, she teased the cover image, which depicts her in glam-casual mode, wearing an off-the-shoulder white T-shirt with her hair loose and wavy.
After leaving the White House, the Obamas inked a joint book deal with Penguin Random House reportedly worth as much as $65 million. The former first lady is the first up with her memoir, though it seems that her husband has been busily typing, too — he reportedly worked on his own during the couple’s month-long stay in French Polynesia shortly after leaving office.
The Obamas have lately been ramping up their political activity, with the former FLOTUS this summer launching a nonpartisan voter-registration campaign called When We All Vote, an effort that enlists some of her celebrity pals, including “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, singers Janelle Monáe and Faith Hill, and actor Tom Hanks.
That’s why the timing of the tour is interestingly apolitical: Obama will be barnstorming across the country just after the midterm elections, so it looks as if her book tour won’t function as a de facto campaign to get out the vote, an issue she has recently focused on.
Nov. 13: Chicago — United Center
Nov. 15: Los Angeles — The Forum
Nov. 17: Washington — Capital One Arena
Nov. 24: Boston — TD Garden
Nov. 29: Philadelphia — Wells Fargo Center
Dec. 1: Brooklyn — Barclays Center
Dec. 11: Detroit — Little Caesars Arena
Dec. 13: Denver — Pepsi Center
Dec. 14: San Jose — SAP Center