Knopf to Publish Brittney Griner's Memoir Next Spring 2024
For the first time Griner recounts the tumultuous events of 2022 that both reshaped her life and captured the world’s attention: Griner’s arrest at the Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow on February 17, followed by her detention, trial, and imprisonment in Russia, as well as the efforts in public and behind the scenes at the highest levels of government to bring her home. Griner’s memoir also documents how the global #WeAreBG movement began as well as the issue of pay equity for women athletes in the United States – the very inequity that led Griner to play basketball in Russia for seven previous seasons and to return for an eighth on that fateful February day.
Jordan Pavlin, Knopf SVP & Editor-in-Chief, will edit and the memoir will have a co-writer. The memoir will be published by Knopf in hardcover, as an ebook, and in audio by Penguin Random House; the book will be published in trade paper by Vintage a year later. Random House Children’s Books will publish a Young Adult edition at a later date. Griner’s first book, IN MY SKIN: My Life On and Off the Basketball Court, was published in 2015.
In this intimate and moving memoir Griner shares her raw, emotional journey from Olympic champion to hostage to her life today. Griner discloses in vivid detail her harrowing experience of her wrongful detainment (as classified by the State Department) and the difficulty of navigating the byzantine Russian legal system in a language she did not speak. Griner also describes her stark and surreal time living in a foreign prison and the terrifying aspects of day-to-day life in a women’s penal colony. At the heart of the book, Griner highlights the personal turmoil she experienced during the near ten-month ordeal and the resilience that carried her through to the day of her return to the United States last December.
“I arrived in Moscow to rejoin the UMMC Ekaterinburg basketball team and was immediately detained at the airport. That day was the beginning of an unfathomable period in my life which only now am I ready to share,” Griner says. “The primary reason I traveled back to Russia for work that day was because I wanted to make my wife, family, and teammates proud. After an incredibly challenging 10 months in detainment, I am grateful to have been rescued and to be home. Readers will hear my story and understand why I’m so thankful for the outpouring of support from people across the world. By writing this book, I also hope to raise awareness surrounding other Americans wrongfully detained abroad such as Paul Whelan, Evan Gershkovich, Emad Shargi, Airan Berry, Shahab Dalili, Luke Denman, Eyvin Hernandez, Majd Kamalmaz, Jerrel Kenemore, Kai Li, Siamak Namazi, Austin Tice, Mark Swidan and Morad Tahbaz.”
Reagan Arthur says, “Brittney Griner has been a trailblazing pioneer in the world of sports for over a decade. Her memoir recounts not only one of the biggest news stories of 2022 but also centers on a personal story of survival and hope. Knopf has published the works of sports heroes such as Andre Agassi, Arthur Ashe, Billie Jean King, and Diana Nyad, and now Brittney’s book will proudly stand alongside this legendary list.”
UMMC Ekaterinburg. She is known for her community work advocating against bullying and for the marginalized, particularly LGBTQ+ youth and communities and people experiencing homelessness.