Michelle Obama’s book tour to promote her memoir, “Becoming,” won’t be taking her to the usual cramped bookstore signings — the former first lady will instead be doing appearances at major arena venues across the country in a tour produced by Live Nation, the event company known for concerts by the likes of Rihanna and Katy Perry.
The 10-city jaunt kicks off in Chicago and will “feature intimate and honest conversations between Mrs. Obama and a selection of to-be-announced moderators, reflective of the extraordinary stories shared in the wide-ranging chapters of her deeply personal book,” according to an announcement Wednesday by Live Nation and Penguin Random House’s Crown Publishing Group.
The timing — the tour stretches from Nov. 13 to Dec. 17, including a Nov. 17 event at Capital One Arena in Washington — 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.
Instead, 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.
Here is the full tour schedule, per the announcement:
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
Dec. 17: Dallas — American Airlines Center