Random House to Publish Memoir of Serena Williams
Random House will publish two books by cultural icon Serena Williams, winner of 39 major tennis titles, four-time Olympic gold medalist, and champion for equality and justice in sports. North American rights were acquired by VP and Executive Editor Jamia Wilson and Publisher Andy Ward from Suzanne Gluck at WME. Both books will be edited by Wilson. Audiobook editions will be released simultaneously by Penguin Random House Audio. Global publishing rights have been sold in 11 territories with more to be announced. The publishing deal was announced today by Sanyu Dillon, President of the Random House Group.
The first book will be an intimate memoir from one of the most inspiring figures of our time. In it, Williams will offer a full and open account of her remarkable life, from her childhood in Compton, California, learning to play with her mother and father, to her academy years in West Palm Beach and her decision to turn professional at age 14, to her rise and reign as the top women’s tennis player in the world – and one of the most accomplished athletes in history. Williams’ memoir will also be an open-hearted exploration of the experiences that have shaped her life, including: overcoming scrutiny and attacks in a predominantly white and male-dominated sport, navigating devastating losses on and off the court, falling in love with tech entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian, celebrating body diversity and expanding the confines of style in sports and pop culture, bringing awareness to maternal health disparities, and being a devoted mother to her daughters, Olympia, and Adira.
“For so long, all I was focused on was winning, and I never sat down to look back and reflect on my life and career. Over the last year I’ve really enjoyed taking the time with my growing family to celebrate my accomplishments and explore my other passions. I couldn’t be at a more perfect place to be able to take-on such a personal intimate project, and there’s no one I would rather do it with than the team at Random House,” said Serena Williams.
For her second, inspirational book, Williams will offer rules for living that draw on her experiences as a philanthropist and advocate, her career as an investment unicorn with Serena Ventures, and someone who has long sought to lift a diverse and emergent generation of young women whose aspirations are not confined to the court.
Both books will be bound by an unwavering belief in the power of perseverance, overcoming adversity, and dreaming unabashedly.
“I am honored to be working with Serena Williams on her frank, inspiring, unflinching, and soulful books,” says Jamia Wilson. “Through stories that have yet to be told, Serena will pull back the curtain to reveal new layers about her experiences on and off the court and what it took for her to make such an indelible mark on sports and culture.”
Adds Random House Group President Sanyu Dillon, “I am thrilled that Random House will have the privilege of publishing Serena Williams, one of the world’s most pioneering changemakers. The story of Serena’s life is one of deep commitment, fierce talent, unabating passion and love. The team and I are honored to collaborate with Serena on her literary endeavors, and we can’t wait to publish what will no doubt be landmark books of inspiration from a truly singular woman, athlete, mother, and business leader.”