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Will Smith is ready to tell his life story in his first memoir.
The two-time Academy Award nominee shared on Instagram the cover and title of his upcoming autobiography, Will, which will be published by Penguin Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, this November.
“I’ve been working on it for the past two years and it is finally ready,” the actor said in his video announcement, describing the book as “a labor of love.” He also shared the book’s cover art which features layered portraits of Smith painted on top of each other. The cover was created by New Orleans-based visual artist Brandan “BMike” Odums.
Will will chronicle Smith’s persona and professional journey thus far, from his upbringing in West Philadelphia to finding inner happiness and success in music and on the small and big screen, having starred in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to films such as Hitch, Men in Black, I Am Legend and Ali.
Says Smith in a statement, “It’s easy to maneuver the material world once you have conquered your own mind. I believe that. Once you’ve learned the terrain of your own mind, every experience, every emotion, every circumstance, whether positive or negative, simply propels you forward, to greater growth and greater experience. That is true will. To move forward in spite of anything. And to move forward in a way that brings others with you, rather than leave them behind.”
“In Will, one of the most dynamic and globally-recognized entertainment forces of our time opens up fully about his life, tracing his learning curve to a place where outer success, inner happiness, and human connection are aligned. Along the way, Will tells the story in full of one of the most amazing rides through the worlds of music and film that anyone has ever had,” Penguin Press said of the upcoming memoir. The publisher also described the memoir as “the product of a profound journey of self-knowledge, a reckoning with all that your will can get you and all that it can leave behind.”
Will was written in collaboration with The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck bestselling author, Mark Manson. Smith will also narrate the audiobook from Penguin Random House Audio.
Smith first teased his book and working with Manson in a July 2018 Instagram video in which he shares, “I’m writing a book. I’ve got years and years of stuff I’ve been wanting to say and I’m finally gonna write a book.” He also quipped that he intended on meeting with five publishers and would go with the “highest bidder.”
To celebrate the unveiling of his book cover and title in fun Smith fashion, the actor hosted a community Block Party in Wynwood Arts District of Miami, Florida. Over 100 local Miami students attended the block party, in partnership with My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Max M. Fisher Boys & Girls Club, Winning Strategies and the Miami Mayor’s Office.
In addition to his book, Smith also launched the WILL Youth Book Club, which aims to create a global community in which members of the book club will be able to participate in conversations about WILL and upcoming events.
Will will be released on Nov. 9.
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