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EXCLUSIVE: Michelle Obama reads from her forthcoming book 'The Light We Carry'

Former first lady Michelle Obama published her memoir <em>Becoming</em> in November 2018.
Chuck Kennedy
Former first lady Michelle Obama published her memoir Becoming in November 2018.

Michelle Obama's new book The Light We Carry, in which she talks about tough times in her life and how she not only coped but remained hopeful, comes out Tuesday. NPR was provided an exclusive listen Monday to two sections of the audio book, read by Obama herself.

The former first lady also joined us to talk about her book. You can hear her interview on All Things Considered Tuesday — and it will be available for download from our podcast Book of the Day Wednesday. You can also visit Life Kit after the book's launch for more of her thoughts on relationships.

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Michelle Obama wrestled with the results of the 2016 election. "It still hurts," she says. "It shook me profoundly to hear the man who'd replace my husband as president openly and unapologetically using ethnic slurs, making selfishness and hate somehow acceptable." She says that running underneath were thoughts that what they had done "had not been enough" and that "the problems were too big."

For Michelle Obama, finding the courage to support her husband's run for president in 2008 wasn't easy. Though she had a lot of fear around the loss of control it would bring, she says ultimately she decided she didn't want to sit around later thinking about the path not taken. "In clinging to only what you know, you are making your world small," she says. "You are robbing yourself of chances to grow."

Excerpts from the book, The Light We Carry © 2022 by Michelle Obama, ℗ Penguin Random House Audio, published by Crown and Penguin Random House Audio on November 15, 2022

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Meghan Collins Sullivan
Meghan Collins Sullivan is a senior editor on the Culture Desk, overseeing multiplatform books coverage at NPR. She edits stories for NPR's radio programs and, manages the Book of the Day podcast, and leads teams creating projects such as Books We Love.