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Vietnamese Version of Michelle Obama’s Memoir Released in Vietnam

On July 16, First News - Tri Viet officially released the Vietnamese version of Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming.

According to Zing, First News’ representatives said that they secured publishing rights to Becoming with a record, albeit undisclosed, amount of money, beating numerous other Vietnamese publishers in an international auction. The representatives revealed the book topped the list of the most expensive copyright transfer agreements.

Michelle Obama’s book had broken many records and could become the best-selling memoir of all time. In North America, 725,000 copies of the book were sold on its first day, and two million in 15 days, making it the fastest-selling book of 2018 in the US. It went on to sell an astonishing 10 million copies in only four months after its release last November.

According to the news source, Becoming is a part of a two-book deal between the Obamas and Penguin Random House after a blockbuster auction. Barack Obama’s White House memoir is set to be published next year, but the release date is not confirmed yet.

Financial Times reported that the Obamas will earn more than US$65 million from their joint deal with Penguin Random House.

The former first lady’s book has an interesting Vietnamese title: Chất Michelle, which can be loosely translated to "the Michelle style." The book not only tells her story, from her childhood in a middle-class family in Chicago to the White House, but also depicts the ups and downs of American history through her life. It also reveals untold stories from her husband’s presidential terms.

Nguyen Van Phuong, CEO of First News - Tri Viet, said in a Facebook post: “I decided to win the publishing auction […] not because this woman is the [former] First Lady, but because of the impression by her famous quote long before Michelle entered the White House: ‘Success isn't about how much money you make, it's about the difference you make in people's lives.’ […] I wish wealthy and powerful women in Vietnam also have this philosophy of life, so the lives of Vietnamese people will be much better.”

First News granted the exclusive release for Becoming for 60 days, with strict requirements. The prerequisite to publish the memoir is that the book must not be faked or pirated in Vietnam in any format, including e-book, PDF or audio.

[Photo via Saigon Giai Phong]

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