Michelle Obama's Becoming

In a UK exclusive event, Penguin Live in collaboration with Southbank Centre, presents Michelle Obama in conversation about her highly anticipated new memoir, Becoming, on Monday 3 December 2018 at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall.

Reflecting on her memoir, Michelle Obama will invite audiences into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she will recount her triumphs and her disappointments – both public and private – and in candidly recounting moments from her own extraordinary journey, Mrs Obama will also share life lessons learned, and inspire people to become the very best version of themselves.

As part of her work with and in support of young people, Michelle Obama, Southbank Centre and Penguin Live will be donating 300 free tickets to secondary school pupils from across London and the UK, as well as some local charities. They will take a seat in the Royal Festival Hall auditorium, which seats just over 2700 people and along with the rest of the audience will receive a hardback copy of Becoming.

View the event

The moderator for the evening, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, is the best-selling author of the novels Purple Hibiscus, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize; Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the Orange Prize; and Americanah, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was named one of The New York Times Top Ten Best Books of 2013. In 2012 she published We Should All Be Feminists and her most recent book, Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, was published in March 2017.

An allocation of tickets for ‘Becoming: An Evening with Michelle Obama’ will go on sale to Southbank Centre Members at 10.00am on Wednesday 7th November and a further allocation will go on sale to the general public at 10.00am on Thursday 8th November. Ticket prices range from £30 to £125. Each ticket will include a hardback copy of Becoming (RRP £25.00), supplied by Waterstones. 

  • Becoming

  • An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States, now a No.1 Sunday Times bestseller

    'A genuine page-turner, full of intimacies and reflections' Evening Standard

    'A polished pearl of a memoir' New York Times

    'A rich, entertaining and candid memoir. And overall Obama's a fun person to sit alongside as she tells you the story of her life . . . it is as beautifully written as any piece of fiction' i

    In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America - the first African-American to serve in that role - she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

    In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations - and whose story inspires us to do the same.

    'Offers new insights into her upbringing on the south side of Chicago and the highs and lows of life with Barack Obama. . . a refreshing level of honesty about what politics really did to her. I have read Barack Obama's two books so far, and this is like inserting a missing piece of reality into the narrative of his dizzying journey' Guardian

    'I found myself lifting my jaw from my chest at the end of every other chapter . . . this was not the Obama I thought I knew. She was more' Independent

    'An inspirational memoir that also rings true' Daily Telegraph

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